Monsters In The Closet review by Mayday Parade

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  • Released: Oct 8, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.5 (8 votes)
Mayday Parade: Monsters In The Closet
3

Sound — 7
Mayday Parade first broke into the music scene back in 2007, with the release of their debut studio album titled "A Lesson in Romantics." The group's punk pop-driven sound, which bears some unignorable similarities to other popular mainstream bands, caught the attention of followers of that particular genre of music. Despite being independently released, "A Lesson in Romantics" went to position eight on the Top Heatseekers Charts, and their song "Jamie All Over" went on to be included as part of the "Rock Band" video game series. Mayday Parade continued to have noticeable commercial success with their second studio album, "Anywhere But Here," which spent five weeks on the charts and peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Alternative Charts; however the addition of outside writers during the songwriting sessions took a noticeable toll on the album's overall sound, and was met with mixed reviews from critics. The band's third studio album would surface in two years later, in the form of 2009's self-titled release. This album was met with more positive critical reception; keeping in mind the critiques for their previous outing, the members of Mayday Parade made a conscious effort to not include any outside writers and to only collaborate within the band. Their self-titled effort ended up being Mayday Parade's most successful to date, reaching #12 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. Continuing Mayday Parade's release schedule of one new album every two years, the group marks their return to the 2013 music scene with their fourth studio album. "Monsters in the Closet" is a collection of twelve new compositions, which boast the same elements which popularized Mayday Parade's earlier efforts. In fact, these new songs sound so identical to their earlier efforts that there's almost nothing distinguishing them apart. If you are a dedicated Mayday Parade fan, this probably wouldn't be the end of the world. Such songs as the album's second single "Girls" feature a repetitive guitar riff and singing style, and for a second (or perhaps the entire song) you may think you're listening to a Blink-182 outtake. The closing track "Angels" begins with a quiet acoustic guitar riff, before picking up with high-in-the-mix percussion playing ala Sublime's "Santeria." There's nothing included on "Monsters in the Closet" that one would call necessarily groundbreaking or entirely original, however it doesn't in anyway mean it's unenjoyable. In fact this familiar quality included on each song is at times one of the album's main driving factors.

Lyrics — 6
Mayday Parade lead vocalist Derek Sanders is what some might call a traditional alternative rock lead vocalist. Just like the majority of other mainstream acts which earn substantial radio airplay, Derek doesn't try to necessarily stand out with his vocal performance. Several of the tracks off of the new album, for example the aforementioned "Angels," show Derek stepping back and letting the actual instrumentation take charge. The only problem with this move is when a song's actual musical side is a quiet repetitive guitar riff and just-as-quiet bass playing, it provides an unfortunate lackluster effect to the piece.

Overall Impression — 6
With their fourth studio album, alternative rock band Mayday Parade do not try and be revolutionary, groundbreaking, or unique: even when compared to their earlier efforts. They instead provide a familiar-sounding musical experience, that should easily appeal to any established Mayday Parade or mainstream radio listener.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SocksAndTrees
    See the thing with Mayday Parade is I 'like' them, but they don't have any songs where I'm like "Wow what a good song I like that song so much". New album is meh.
    fras1788
    This band has lacked originality since Jason left. Jason was the heart and soul of this band, and the main reason I liked them. His voice and songwriting brought originality, and authenticity. Derek is OK, but his songwriting pales in comparison to Jason's. I've since moved on from Mayday, and now dabble in "Go Radio" but I still like original Mayday better than current Go Radio, and Current Mayday. Just my opinion though.
    vppark2
    Did you know that Go Radio just broke up? Jason is going to work on solo stuff.
    beachdude42
    I saw them live this summer at Warped Tour... it was a great, albeit short set. Very few people were there because they were at one of the small side stages, so we got right in front of the stage!
    Metallidethium
    I'm sure I'll get down-voted but I've always enjoyed Mayday Parade and although I liked their last album more and their first album with Jason the most, I still like this. To me, there are a lot of pop-punk bands that write "party" songs (All Time Low comes to mind) and I've always felt it was devoid of emotion. Here, at least I can feel some emotion in the vocals and melodies. But that's just me.
    vppark2
    Good read. To be perfectly honest, I really only like 3 songs. Pretty much a 5/10 overall for me.
    Pyro5139
    I never really cared for the reviews on this site, even the reviews I agree with most of the time, but since this review starts with a 2 paragraph intro about Mayday's discography, I'm going to assume that the person writing isn't an avid Mayday Parade listener. I agree with almost everything he says, even about what he said including the repetitiveness of the majority of Mayday's songs but c'mon, music is about projecting your innermost thoughts and feelings and most of the time songs come out sounding like one or another. The only thing I disagree with is his underrated explanation to Derek's vocals. The biggest reason I enjoy MP is that they sound almost EXACTLY like they do on the record in their live performances. It's not a special skill, lots of people do, but coming from their genre and the vocal talents of Derek, I was awestruck the first time I saw them live. I probably would have given this record a 7.5... maybe an 8 if I was feeling biased, but I don't think that Mayday Parade should be written off just for their repetitiveness.
    Thrill-house
    They didn't get a low score for just being repetitive. Overall they just aren't very good, absolutely nothing stands out to separate them from any other band of the same genre. I would have given it a 2/10
    vppark2
    I agree. To be really critical, live performances really dont mean anything in a review. That being said, Derek's vocals are average at best on record. Jason Lancaster (old vocalist) was much better imo, but he only really showcased that with Go Radio.
    kingneptune117
    Are you guys kidding me? I LOVE this album. A couple of things... 1. Mayday Parade does bring some new stuff to the table in this album. Not a lot, but a little. 90% of the feel of this album is the regular mayday parade, 10% is new. Everyone sees this as a problem, I think it's great! I hate when bands I love change their sound when they "try and do something new". 2. Almost every single song besides ghosts and girls blew me away. A specific example is angels. Such a beautiful song. 3. Mayday Parade, please keep doing your thing and keep up the good work! This album is exactly what Mayday fans love. 4. The guitar work in this album is also beautiful. Overall, probably my favorite album by them.