ARTICLE

CD REVIEW: Mayday Parade leads pop punk down new road

By Diana Nollen

Pop punkers in Mayday Parade are marching to their own beat, forging a fine path.

These five guys from Tallahassee, Fla., have crafted a fun major-label debut disc, “Anywhere but Here,” which makes you glad you’re there.

The first cut, “Kids in Love,” reels you in with its catchy summer love hook and sets up the theme for the rest of the album, which explores the yin and yang of relationships.

The title track is a full-out rocker with a touch of anguish. The band dives deeper into despair with several more hymns to heartbreak, from the pleading anguish of “The Silence” to the wailing urgency of “Bruised and Scarred.”

On the peppier side are “Still Breathing” and “Center of Attention,” sure to send the throngs to the dance floor when the band plays the Blue Moose Tap House in Iowa City on Tuesday night (5/4/10).

Some of the lovelier moments ring through “Save Your Heart” and the acoustic ballad “I Swear This Time I Mean It,” both showcasing the band’s ability to turn a poetic phrase into a melting melody.

All the songs are originals, as is this band. Whether baring their souls or shouting for all the world to hear, it’s their lyrics that speak the loudest and capture the raw emotion of young love and loss. Even in the midst of soul-searching for answers, they convey a glimmer of hopefulness through a simple, dazzling phrase like “I’m ready to be amazed” and laugh-out-loud humor in the cheeky title, “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?” 

Production values are high throughout this collection, with Derek Sanders’ lead vocals soaring easily above the crash of guitars, keyboards and drums that lay down the solid sound.

Go see them in Iowa City and get ready to be amazed.

 FAST TAKE

Title: “Anywhere but Here”

Artist: Mayday Parade

Label: Atlantic

Performance: 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at the Blue Moose Tap House, 211 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

Tickets: $13 in advance at www.midwestix.com or $15 at the door

Information: www.bluemooseic.com and www.maydayparade.com

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