Mayday Parade

Valdosta EP

Written by: PP on 26/05/2011 03:33:51

When the name Mayday Parade gets tossed around you usually associate them with polished pop punk acts like All Time Low, You Me At Six, The Maine and similar units, but for some weird reason the band has chosen to go for an all-acoustic EP called "Valdosta" for their newest release. As you might expect, it is a decision which has both some advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in the following lines.

On their previous material, their singer has never been a particularly striking or charismatic one rather than just someone who knows their trade at melodic and sugar-coated pop punk vocals. In that sense, "Valdosta" is a coming-to-form release for him, where he has all the space in the world to display the best he can in his department while the rest of the band is restrained to simple acoustic guitars, soft violins and quiet background music. It does, however, remove all the energy from your traditional Mayday Parade release, but you'd have to absolutely hate quiet acoustic ballads to deny the inherent catchiness in songs like "Amber Lynn" or the piano-driven "Terrible Things", let alone the rest of the EP.

The problem is, however, that whereas the singer is competent in his own right, he is lacking a characteristic, distinguishable voice. He may be pitch-perfect and master easy-going melodies at ease, but can you really distinguish him from the rest of the pop punk crew, especially when he is placed in spotlight by the minimalistic instrumentalism found on "Valdosta" EP? Based on the evidence present, it's impossible to argue that he isn't a good singer, but then again you could reference a hundred similar frontmen who lack the required charisma of people like Patrick Stump or Jordan Pundik but sound as good as the dude here. I guess what I'm saying is that while the songs on "Valdosta" EP aren't bad, they don't bring anything onto the table that we haven't heard from a million billion pop punk bands in the past, especially not in an acoustic format. Listen to Dashboard instead if you want to hear great acoustic material.

6

Download: Jamie All Over, Amber Lynn
For the fans of: You Me At Six, The Maine
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.03.2011
Atlantic Records / Fearless Records

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