Mayday Parade - Valdosta EP

Album cover
Acoustic, Pop-rock
Fearless Records
Mayday Parade
Valdosta EP
Mayday Parade - Valdosta EP Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 4 (7 votes)

Pop-rock is a strange genre. It truly is difficult to separate yourself from the rest of the bands singing about girls behind sugary guitar melodies, especially when quite a few of those vocalists sound rather similar. But, as with every other genre, a few bands are able to separate themselves from the pack to rise to major-label stardom. Mayday Parade is gearing up for a jump to Atlantic Records with a full-length said to be released later in the year, but the guys in the band have decided to cut a quick EP of four acoustic tracks and two newer tracks to tide us over until then. And while Valdosta is fun in its nature, it really doesn't do much for anyone who isn't a huge fan of the band other than indulge us in some violin and piano spiced acoustic jams.

Consisting of four old songs and two new cuts, Valdosta is essentially a hodge-podge of acoustic tracks from a band not really discernible from the other bands populating the top of the pop-rock genre. Opener “Amber Lynn” is ripe with teenager targeted lyricism and boasts stale guitars to back the unexpected, yet effective violin lines. Vocally, you’d think most of this song was recorded in a library due to the low sounding rather monotone vocal lines of this track. Yet, when the older tracks come into play, things are a bit more interesting than just hoping for another violin line. With “Jamie All Over”, the vocals are much more impressive in the higher end of the register, and the repetitive guitar chords of the first track are swapped for a more entertaining mixture of twangy chords and smooth melodies. This is probably the strongest track of the bunch, and definitely the one to look for first if you’re not very familiar with this band and are wanting to hear the full band versions.

This back and forth of good and bad seems to be the underlying theme of the EP. “Kids in Love” falls short of carrying the energy built up by “Jamie All Over” with an overabundance of the same guitar part. This might be due to the nature of the original track, but it just doesn’t live up to the variety presented in the previous track. Even the violin lines can’t save this one. “Your Song” is a pleasant surprise as a solely piano and voice-led track. Back are the moving vocals that are much more attention grabbing – a huge plus even if they do sound like a handful of other bands’ vocalists. This track also makes a great introduction to EP closer “Terrible Things”, which is also anchored by the piano until exploding in typical ballad fashion with bombastic drums and soaring guitars and vocals. It might not be the most original way to end a release, but it certainly is climactic and hits the nail on the head in terms of impact.

When it comes to any genre of music, there are those who make waves and those who ride them. Mayday Parade isn’t really making waves when it comes to memorability, but they certainly know how to work the pop-rock formula to their advantage. But unless you are a rampant fan of acoustic cuts or a fan of this band, you aren’t really missing much out of this release.

1. Amber Lynn
2. Jamie All Over
3. Kids in Love
4. Your Song
5. Bruised an Scarred
6. Terrible Things

Why get up in the morning to work at Taco Bell when you could be traveling the continental US pushing your band's fresh new sound to people near and far? Precisely the philosophy of five guys from Tallahassee, FL. Derek, Jeremy, Alex, Brooks and Jake all decided to quit their jobs thinking outside of the bun and started to think about performing in a parade

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