Hint of experimentation in Parade’s ‘Monsters in the Closet’

The theme of love is present in heartfelt lyrics and tracks such as “12 Through 15”  (Photo provided by altpress.com)
The theme of love is present in heartfelt lyrics and tracks such as “12 Through 15” (Photo provided by altpress.com)

Alternative rock band Mayday Parade returned with their fourth album “Monsters in the Closet” released on Oct. 8. Many songs maintain a theme of dealing with the pain we create for each other. The opening track points out that the “monsters” in the album’s title actually refers our lovers. The songs tell how rejection and separation cause suffering for lovers, making them the biggest monsters. The theme of life and death is prevalent throughout the album, with tracks titled “Ghosts,” “Demons” and “Angels.”

The first track, “Ghosts,” opens with vocal harmony from each member of the group. After this interlude the track continues with similar themes to previous tracks from the band. “Ghosts,” the main single for the album, features a more light-hearted tune than previous songs, but the lyrics remain in the same style of previous Mayday Parade songs. The song is about a person who has left this world and the singer comforting her as he deals with the monsters in his life and the loss of his love. The song has great atmosphere and strong vocals from the entire group. The lyrics easily paint the picture their story tells.

The second single released from the album is “Girls.” This track follows the light-hearted atmosphere in the melody set by “Ghosts.” The lyrics for this track are decent, but could be misinterpreted as misogynistic. The track is about how girls do not listen and boys can be there to listen to them. The song ends with a plea to grow up and stop playing games, as the singer and girl of the song are not young anymore, and should enjoy themselves. The song is weaker than “Ghosts,” but stands as a decent single on its own.

This album is not a shift to a softer style for the band. Songs such as “Last Night For A Table of Two” and “Repent and Repeat” feature heavier melodies, faster paces, and a higher emphasis on guitar and drums.

Tracks like “12 Through 15” demonstrate the band’s diversity. Combining the elements of rock, punk and pop, this is one of the strongest tracks on the album. This track features more diverse lyrics than most of the bands previous library, but maintains the boy-longing-for-girl subject matter of many Mayday Parade songs. The melody is slower than other tracks, but the vocals have true emotion making the track powerful to listen to.

The final track, “Angels,” returns to a slower style, but adds a focus on an acoustic sound. This song has deep emotion and tells a story of someone feeling broken after a break-up. The person congratulates the people lucky enough to be in a good relationship with a toast while he mourns his loss. As a final track, “Angels” has a slow pace that helps build the album’s atmosphere. Strong and meaningful lyrics leave the listener to think about the themes of the album and the songs, considering their relationships when it concludes.

Overall, the album is very solid. The tracks follow previous Mayday Parade style, but there is still some experimentation. Track five, “The Torment of Existence Against the Horror of Nonbeing,” adds a violin to help create mood. Track eleven, “Hold Onto Me,” maintains the band’s signature lyrical style, but features heavy reliance on an acoustic and pop sound. Though the band struggles to differentiate themselves from previous work, the album demonstrates their enthusiasm for their music. There is a lot of heart and emotion in the tracks, the songs blend the signature  pop punk, alternative and emo genres of Mayday Parade.

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