Your Hit Parade

February 28, 2012 by staff 

Your Hit Parade, Three albums into its career, it seems Mayday Parade is really beginning to feel comfortable in its collective skin.

Who: The End of the World Tour featuring Mayday Parade, We The Kings, The Downtown Fiction, Anarbor

Where: The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth St.

When: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $16 to $18


The emo-rockers went the self-titled route with their latest project, a dynamic dozen songs released in October. Admitting the inherent clich├ęs in his statement, frontman Derek Sanders said in an online bio that the eponymous label was intentional and emblematic because, as the group engaged the writing and recording process, members found themselves feeling “like a new band.”

The cool confidence that comes from solidarity and a fresh set of eyes is reflected in the band’s present sound. Sure, Mayday Parade remains attached to too many of the staples and tropes embraced by the group’s cohort – big guitars, big hooks, a soft verse-loud chorus dynamic and Sanders’ overly earnest, occasionally strident vocals. But fans who might have settled for enjoying a catchy musical and emotional cleanse in the past will find themselves exposed to a number of musical twists and turns that enhance and embellish the band’s bona fides.

The band employs a fair, refreshing amount of piano on the album, not least during the plaintive keys-and-strings introduction to opening cut “Oh Well, Oh Well.” The track eventually emerges from its piano-ballad cocoon, becoming a fully formed rock anthem complete with chorus vocals and big, booming drum sounds. A subsequent cut, “Stay,” immerses the band in slow-jam territory; the song’s melody and feel aren’t terribly revelatory, yet the band’s passion and heart, buoyed by propulsive drums and genuinely pretty piano riffs, win out.

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