Mayday Parade – What It Means To Fall Apart (Album Review)

Mayday Parade – What It Means To Fall Apart
Released: November 19, 2021 

Lineup:

Derek Sanders // vocals
Alex Garcia // guitar
Brooks Betts // guitar
Jeremy Lenzo // bass
Jake Bundrick // drums

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Mayday Parade are back with their seventh record, and it’s definitely an interesting one. The band have been going strong since 2005, originating from Florida. It’s nice to see that these guys have been going solid for such a long period of time and they’ve always stuck true to who they are as both people and a band in general. I think it’s been nice for a lot of fans to have seen such major growth from the band since their early days, and to have that feeling of having matured alongside the band in a way, which is rare since a lot of pop punk or alternative bands from those years aren’t really going as strong anymore, or they’ve broken up at least once — if not, more. 

I will say straight up, What It Means to Fall Apart didn’t strike me right away. It’s definitely an album that I would say will grow on you over time. Having listened a few times over now, I feel as if it’s almost split into two sections as to how the sound and tone is developed throughout this new release. The first half of the record feels as though Mayday Parade have matured in their sound and they’ve done something outside of their realm which usually I love, but for some reason this time, I just feel like it almost needed just a little bit of a tweak before I would have said that this was absolute perfection as a full record itself. A track that I’d say is the best example as it stood out to me was ‘If My Ghosts Don’t Play, I Don’t Play’. The song starts with an almost metal style riff on guitar and then it goes back to being semi punk and then just has a guitar solo in a similar stylisation as those from the 70s and I personally found it to be just a really, really odd mashup of sounds that I think if it had been these similar styles, but in two separate singles, or reworked just a little into a different song, it would have been amazing to see, however — together didn’t work too well on this occasion. That being said, I know that some listeners are going to absolutely love this completely different vibe from the band and it will be their favourite song. 

The opening tracks of the record, ‘Kids of The Summer’ and ‘Golden Days’ were really enjoyable for me. It was a great way to start off the newest release and show off what the boys are made of. The rhythm was catchy in both of these songs and I really enjoyed the way that I felt their sound had progressed through the years, drawing from new inspirations and new styles that we haven’t heard them incorporate too often before. These two opening songs did have a more summery pop sound to them while still remaining a little bit on the alternative and punk side of things. One thing that I didn’t love too much with the first lot of songs is that I did find them all to be quite a bit on the longer side, being about four minutes in length for each, which was something that just felt as if there was almost no high and low to the track placement, meaning that I felt as if I caught myself thinking “oh wait this is another long song, still got three minutes to go”. Whereas if there was a bit of a mix in timing, it would have felt as if it flowed a little better. 

Now to what I called the second half of the album earlier, I felt very much like this cluster of tracks sounded like the band had still explored new avenues but still kept that core of their sound, with being just a touch upbeat but also a touch dark and punk, and it was absolutely wonderful to listen to. It felt like it was more of what I was expecting when I started listening, purely because of that touch of familiarity that came with this sound. ‘Bad At Love’ was a real standout song to me, it really captured my attention and was catchy, had me singing along after a short time and I definitely wanted to go back and listen to it again. I could describe how much I really loved it, but I think you all will too, and I personally loved every song after this as well. It sounded fresh while still remaining familiar and that is what makes me so happy every time I listen to new music. 

This really is an album that I feel as though each individual person is just going to need to hear for themselves and make up their own opinions. For me, I found it hard at times to connect to this album and while I did absolutely love the second half of the record and pretty much all the tracks from ‘Bad At Love’ and onward, I felt like something was just missing for me, and that’s okay. Sometimes that will happen when it comes to listening to new albums and new music, and this is unfortunately one of those times.

I do like this album and I will absolutely listen to it again. However, I think personally for me it wasn’t one that I had that instant connection with and it’s just something that I feel will need to grow on me in time. I don’t dislike it by any means, but I do still feel as though there were a few things that had they been a little bit different, it would have been nearing a perfect score for me. So many fans are going to love this, but it might not be for everyone. I encourage you to listen to it and give it a few solid spins before making up your mind.

Mayday Parade – What It Means To Fall Apart tracklisting:

1. Kids Of Summer
2. Golden Days
3. Think Of You
4. If My Ghosts Don’t Play, I Don’t Play
5. Sideways
6. One For The Rocks And One For The Scary
7. Bad At Love
8. Notice
9. Heaven
10. Angels Die Too
11. You Not Me
12. I Can’t Do This Anymore

Rating: 6/10
What It Means To Fall Apart is out Friday on Rise Records. Pre-order here
Review By Heather McNab

1 Comment on Mayday Parade – What It Means To Fall Apart (Album Review)

  1. I guess I’m in the minority as an elder pop punk fan (I’m 35). I really liked this album- i thought it did a really nice job modernizing a familiar sound. The first two tracks follow a similar structure as the first two on Sunnyland. Really enjoyed the whole thing.

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