By Mackenzie Dineen – 1851 Staff
Pop-rock band Mayday Parade’s fifth studio album “Black Lines” welcomes change. The album, released on October 9, features completely new album art, for the first time since 2007 neither the iconic umbrella man, nor the familiar Mayday Parade font are used on the cover.
The album art is certainly not the only difference between Mayday Parade’s previous discography and “Black Lines.” The opening track and second single on the album “One of These Will Destroy the Other,” featuring Dan Lambton, of the band Real Friends, is packed with harsh and gritty vocals, a sure way to wow listeners. Their lyrics, filled with subjects of regret and rage, fuel the three minutes of loud, raw guitar riffs and heavy percussion.
One aspect of Mayday Parade’s writing that remains unchanged is their lyrical style. The band continues to release songs with detailed and emotional lyrics, one example is the harsh message portrayed in “Hollow.”
Each song on the album includes heavy musical aspects, previously unknown to Mayday Parade. From “Narrow,” an acoustic ballad that leads up to an electric last verse composed of heart wrench- ing guitar ballads, to “All On Me” complete with jagged vocals, self-destructive lyrics, and a rhythmic bassline.
The album occasionally reverts to the melancholy and melodic style featured on previous albums like 2007’s “A Lesson In Romantics” in “Let’s be Honest,” and “Keep in Mind, Transmogrification is a New Technology,” the album’s first single. “Black Lines” fluctuates between heartfelt and pained ballads and loud rock tracks in an attempt to balance the sound of the album, leaving listeners feeling lost in the sensory overload.
A majority of the songs on the album begin with misleading introductions, which may be frustrating for listeners. Many well-composed introductions trail off into verses and choruses, often contradicting the introductory style.
“Black Lines” presents a new diversity to Mayday Parade’s discography. The album’s harmonically minor sound meshes well with the occasional synthetic and electric accents.
Fans of Mayday Parade who listen for the lyrics will be pleased to hear what “Black Lines” has to offer, while those who are invested in the traditionally melodic pop-rock sound may be disappointed. The album includes 12 tracks, each one more vivacious and personal than the next.