With the anniversary tour for Mayday Parade’s 2011 self-titled album scheduled for May, Gemma Cockrell looks back at why the album became a staple of pop punk playlists over the years.
In my opinion, the best pop punk music strikes a balance between energy and emotion. And that’s exactly what Mayday Parade does. Album opener Oh Well, Oh Well demonstrates this immediately; it starts off as a gentle and emotional piano ballad, before the full band burst into life to transform the song into a high-energy pop punk banger.
"The defining feature of Mayday Parade is that every track serves its purpose, and every track has its own unique stand-out moment"
The defining feature of Mayday Parade is that every track serves its purpose, and every track has its own unique stand-out moment. These moments usually come in the introduction of the song, instantly catching the listeners attention and making it easy to differentiate between each track: the guitar solo of No Heroes Allowed, the sudden euphoric drums of When You See My Friends, and the stand-alone vocals of You’re Dead Wrong, to name a few.
A track that is impossible not to mention is Stay – it is one of Mayday Parade’s most well-known songs for a reason, after all. Similar to Oh Well, Oh Well, the track starts off as a ballad, which is a structure that definitely works well for the band. However, Stay is even more of a slow-burner, taking more time to build up to the heart-breaking and rewarding crescendo, where lead vocalist James Lancaster begs his partner not to leave him.
The second half of the album continues with momentum that matches the first. The only obvious difference is that the names of the songs seem to suddenly start to get much, much longer; I’d Rather Make Mistakes Than Nothing At All, Without The Bitter The Sweet Isn’t As Sweet and Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet are titles that give mid-2000’s Fall Out Boy a run for their money.
There is no doubt that this album included some of Mayday Parade’s best work to date at the time, and when their debut and sophomore efforts were as strong as A Lesson In Romantics and Anywhere But Here, then that’s an impressive feat. Any pop punk fan is sure to love this album, and even though it is well-respected in the pop punk scene, I still don’t think it gets as much attention as it deserves.
You can catch Mayday Parade live at Rock City in Nottingham on 31st May.
Edited by: Gemma Cockrell
Featured image and in-article image courtesy of Mayday Parade via Facebook.