Mayday Parade – Sunnyland (Album Review)

Mayday Parade – Sunnyland
Released: June 15th, 2018

Mayday Parade are:

Derek Sanders | vocals
Jeremy Lenzo | bass
Jake Bundrick | drums
Brooks Betts | rhythm guitar
Alex Garcia | lead guitar

Mayday Parade online:

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Mayday Parade are a band that typically remind me of high school and being one of the first pop punk and alternative bands that I ever really got into. Their music seemed to resonate universally with people who were going through any form of tough time and it made things seem a little easier for us all. It’s been quite a while since they released a new record, unless you take into account the re-release of A Lesson In Romantics: Anniversary Edition which came out last year for the 10 Year Anniversary. That’s right, these guys have been providing us all with music for over 10 years now and show absolutely no signs of stopping or slowing down. Thank God for that!

 

I couldn’t wait to listen to Sunnyland since I’d previously heard their first single that was released — ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ — to accompany the records announcement. It’s catchy and the type of sound that is familiar to listeners, one where you can tell exactly what band you’re hearing due to the vocals of Derek Sanders. He has a voice that is so recognisable to anyone who knows of any previous records from these guys. While I do think changing things up is what a lot of bands in this genre need to do, sometimes certain bands have that iconic sound and it works for them, no matter what they do, it is just that instant connection of “Oh hey, is this these guys?”

I’ll be honest, it took me a few listens to get into this record, and I can’t really put my finger on why that is, or I’d tell you all. I just felt like I personally didn’t connect with it and getting into it was a little more tricky than it usually would be. The track list is amazing as it boasts songs with all different styles and it’s definitely not bland or boring in the slightest. With each track being something new from the last, whether it being more rock influenced or a softer sound, no two tracks seem to be the same at all and I would have to say this is one of my favourite things about the album.

This record as a whole is fantastic to sing along to when it comes on, but I found that I was struggling to connect with it. Some songs had me going back and repeating them continually, and others were just pretty to listen to but didn’t do much for me. I think that once these songs are brought to life on the stage, I may be able to get into them a little more as I can feel and see the passion and emotion that is being translated, whereas I didn’t feel that it came through while listening to it. I’m quite on the fence about this release as I really do enjoy the familiar sound and the new direction that they’ve been exploring, but in the same thought, I feel like the lyrics just didn’t connect with me or I just wasn’t understanding them the way they were intended.

 

The tracks that stood out to me and had me repeating them are ‘Take My Breath Away’ for the fact that it is so raw, stripped back and packed full of emotion and it was just sensational as a whole. The only word I can find for it time and time again is pretty. ‘Satellite’ for it’s upbeat and fun sound with catchy lyrics, definitely something I feel like the band don’t do enough of — upbeat which made it so interesting to me since it is done so well and it suits them more than they probably realise. ‘Always Leaving’ is one that is on the softer side again, but a track that is incredibly calming, uplifting and filled to the brim with endless beauty.

When it comes down to my final thoughts, I say that this release is wonderful and I do love it, but I’m quite conflicted as to how much. I feel like as I stated earlier, I just didn’t connect with it the way that I thought I would, which made falling in love with this album that little bit harder. I will definitely still listen to this record and go see the tour, without a doubt.

mayday parade - sunnyland album

Mayday Parade Sunnyland tracklist

1. Never Sure
2. It’s Hard To Be Religious
3. Piece Of Your Heart
4. Is Nowhere
5. Take My Breath Away
6. Stay The Same
7. How Do You Like Me Now?
8. Where You Are
9. If I Were You
10. Satellite
11. Looks Red, Tastes Blue
12. Always Leaving
13. Sunnyland

Rating: 6/10. I love it, but I’m still on the fence about this one.
Sunnyland is out Friday June 15th via Rise Records. Pre-Order here
Review by Heather McNab

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