Believe it or not, Mayday Parade released their debut EP fourteen years ago. Six albums and now three EP’s later, they’re still throwing out absolute bangers with the three mainstays since their inception that draw fans to them with every release: driving riffs paired with melodic picking, honest, heartfelt, and relatable lyrics, and pitch-perfect vocal harmonies. None of this is different with ‘Live At Screaming Eagle’
Four new tracks performed live, including the previously released single ‘It Is What It Is’, paired with a release of studio versions of the other three tracks from the live EP, gives enough of a solid reason for Mayday Parade fans to get excited. And so they should. The band has proved with these four songs that like a fine wine, they’re getting better with age. In fact, they’re not getting older, just better.
When you think back to some of their biggest tracks like ‘Three Cheers For Five Years’, ‘Jamie All Over’ and ‘Miserable At Best’ just to name a few, while Mayday have released solid gold over the last ten plus years, this might just be the best stuff they’ve dropped since their self titled album in 2011.
‘First Train’ immediately kicks in with the kind of riff you’d expect to hear from the likes of Four Year Strong, yet when the verse kicks in a little gentler, the contrast and interchange are perfect. It’s exactly what you want from a band like this. You want something to bang your head and tap your feet to, but you also want to feel something, to be taken on a journey, and with this release you do and you are.
While ‘Lighten Up Kid’ has a pure pop-punk feel to it with drummer Jake Bundrick providing a relatively fast-paced groove (166bpm), driving chords, and lyrics you can sing along to every time you hear it, ‘I Can Only Hope’ is almost the opposite. With a slightly ambient and chill vibe to it until the second chorus when everything comes together, a guitar solo drops and hits you right between the eyes, it comes across as a song about love and fear, and it’s these kinds of feelings we all have that makes this song so incredibly relatable and possibly the best on the EP.
But in a throwback to their earlier days, ‘It Is What It Is’ has all the vibes of early 2010’s Mayday Parade. There are even lyrical references to songs from their first album in this one. It’s a song about depression and finding yourself in that hole where you think nothing will get any better.
I’m yet to find a band that musically takes on subjects surrounding mental health as well as Mayday Parade does. With how well they write songs and the frankness and honesty in how they touch on the subject matters, I can absolutely guarantee that Mayday Parade have saved a lot of lives with their songs over these last fourteen years.
I’ve been a Mayday Parade fan since I first heard their debut EP all those years ago.
Every record they’ve released proves that a decade and a half on they still have that incredible songwriting ability where you like every single song they release.
This live EP reinforces the opinion that they’re one of the best live pop-punk bands in the industry today, a statement I can fully lend my support to having seen them live several times.
If this EP is a sign of what is to come from these boys, I can’t wait.
2020 was an absolute disaster. These guys have got me excited for 2021.
This EP is available everywhere now via Rise Records.
Earbuds Track of the Record: 'I Can Only Hope'
You can listen to this track below!
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