Mayday Parade

Since forming in 2005, Mayday Parade have amassed one of the most loyal, rabid fan bases around thanks to energizing concerts and four studio albums full of heart-on-sleeve lyrics. With the release of their arresting fifth record, the Mike Sapone-produced 'Black Lines,' the members of the Florida pop-rock quintet -- vocalist Derek Sanders, guitarists Brooks Betts and Alex Garcia, bassist Jeremy Lenzo and drummer Jake Bundrick -- are taking a giant leap forward as musicians and songwriters.

"It's time to switch things up a little bit," Sanders says.

That's evident from 'Black Lines'' ferocious opening song, "One Of Them Will Destroy The Other," which features slashing guitars, throat-shredding vocals and a guest appearance from Real Friends' Dan Lambton. The sizzling, grungy "Hollow" and the tornadic, teeth-baring "Let's Be Honest" also boast aggressive riffs and a propulsive rhythmic backbone.

"We noticed some of the songs were heavier than we've ever done, that there were a lot of guitar riffs we had never really had before," Bundrick says. "We tried to make those parts more distinct."

Yet like other Mayday Parade albums, 'Black Lines' is certainly dynamic -- for example, the tension-filled, simmering choruses on "Underneath The Tide" explode into soaring, noisy verses -- and has undeniable variety: "Just Out Of Reach" ends with a plaintive piano coda and lonely vocals, while the '90s alt-rock-reminiscent "Letting Go" is driven by rich acoustic guitar and Sanders' delicate singing.

The sonic evolution was a natural progression for Mayday Parade, which is comprised of childhood friends who cut their teeth in the Tallahassee, Florida, music scene. The group famously self-released 2006's 'Tales Told by Dead Friends' EP and followed Warped Tour around selling the CD to kids waiting in line -- which eventually led to a record deal and several official stints performing on Warped Tour, as well as tours with bands ranging from the Pierce The Veil, to All Time Low, and PVRIS.

On 'Black Lines,' Mayday Parade wanted a rawer sound that more accurately reflected their magnetic live performances. But the band also wanted to convey greater emotional complexity and sophistication: Songs focus less on heartbreak and more on mature, grown-up topics -- navigating the nuances of adult relationships and friendships, when there's more at stake and things aren't so black and white. "We're people in happy relationships with good things going on in our lives, so we didn't want to keep writing songs about all these sad topics," Sanders says. "Of course, there is some of that in the record for sure -- but we tried to focus a little more on other things, just life and growing up."

Man Overboard

Consider pop punk defended. Man Overboard, the four-piece outfit out of New Jersey, have made a statement with their debut full length Real Talk that is much harder, faster, and louder than a catchy, often-quoted band mantra. While the band's previous material has been extremely enjoyable, climbing to the most coveted parts of my iTunes play counts, their latest offering is their first real spoonful of pop punk. Dual vocalists Zac Eiestenstein and Nik Bruzzese are more aggressive on Real Talk, and their vocals are paced by dirtier-sounding guitars, contributing to a more punk-influenced style. As an overwhelming initial wave of support shows, I'm in the same boat of thinking as most Man Overboard fans when I welcome the new style. It's the exact direction I was hoping this band would take, and the direction that they needed to take to back up their mantra. It's safe to say that Man Overboard have not only defended the genre, but have exceeded all expectations in the process.

A lot has transpired since we last put forth a full length album. This band has gone through many tumultuous yet exciting experiences that have brought us to this point - the release of our 4th album, Collider. The title is a representation of those aforementioned experiences that shaped the continuing career of Cartel. When juxtaposed forces collide in the arena of physics many things can happen: destruction, creation, and metamorphosis, to name a few. We feel as though all of those things and more have shaped the career arc of this band. But most of all, they have had a direct impact on the way we create the music that you'll hear on this record.

We found ourselves without a label and marched forward to experiment with the idea of self-releasing and self-producing our music. That experiment was the In Stereo EP. The unintentional discovery in that process was that there is an honesty that is imperative to the making of our music that is necessary to create the best possible sonic experience. That is to say, we're at our best when we are not concerned with anything but making an album that we WANT to make. It was evident in Chroma. We strove for it despite the spectacle perceived in our self-titled album. We tried to find it again on Cycles. And now, with all other distractions and deterrences aside, we've found it again.

Some may describe the feeling as magical or effortless. I assure you there were no spells or rituals (of the magical nature anyway), and it certainly was not effortless. This painstaking and self reflecting effort yielded something that we are incredibly proud of and that we stand by 100%. Collider is the culmination of 3 years worth of life, love, and reflection. We can't wait for all of you to experience it with us and enjoy it like we do. Expect us on the road in the US and international destinations playing heart-filled shows that display our passion for the energy and essence put forth in the making of these songs - this album. This is Cartel in all its forms. This is Collider.

Stages & Stereos

Five piece alt indie band hailing out of Tallahassee, Florida.

$20.00 - $23.00

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