The Maine

Pioneer

Written by: PP on 10/01/2012 04:32:07

There was a time when The Maine used to be a young and exciting pop punk band hoping to follow the career path of Fall Out Boy, so they sounded just like their early albums on their debut album "Can't Stop Won't Stop". Polished? Yes, but catchy? Also yes. They got signed on a major based on their bouncy tunes and Patrick Stump-soundalike singer, who immediately went onward and wooed the band into the poppiest of poppy realms in pop punk on their sophomore record "Black & White", where attaching the tag to their music started feeling kinda awkward. But who are we kidding? Both albums were far from the good stuff pop punk has to offer, although the second album did have some pop rock potential in places.

"Pioneer", then, is the album where they've finally jumped over one hundred and ten percent. It's difficult to believe they are the same band that wrote the catchy "Everything I Ask For" with its hookline "Prada is what she wears": their sound has become the epitome of safe, inoffensive, formulaic mainstream pop rock in such a short period of time. You know those annoying mid-album ballads on pop punk records that feel like they break the flow of the album every time? Regardless of what some people say, they are neither interesting nor have any sort of longevity. Well, imagine thirteen of them a row and you essentially have "Pioneer". It's a record which stinks from a mile away of their major label co-writing the album, removing any edge it may have had prior to the polishing treatment. I mean, when you start sounding like Lifehouse in places, you're headed in the wrong direction.

Don't get me wrong. Pop rock can also be done well. But it's a hard genre to stand out in, and even more difficult one to write songs that don't feel like your dime-a-dozen cheesefests that start on a casual tempo and really go nowhere. That's essentially the problem with "Pioneer". The big production, the radio-friendly choruses, and overtly simplistic songwriting ensures it's never going to sound awful. But they won't be able to remove the feeling that The Maine write dull / boring music and never really catch your attention through thirteen songs on this record.

Download: Time
For the fans of: The Academy Is... meets Lifehouse
Listen: Soundcloud

Release date 06.12.2011
Warner

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