Artist: Mayday Parade
Release: “A Lesson in Romantics” CD
You’ll miss Jason Lancaster. You’ll miss him especially if you are a fan of Mayday Parade’s on-the-sly hit EP, 2005’s “Tales Told by Dead Friends.” Lancaster’s affected singing and unique voice complements Parade frontman Derek Sander’s voice uncannily well, and that makes it a shame that he left the band, supposedly during the making of “A Lesson in Romantics.” His absence on some of the tracks is obvious; the tracks without him are not bad by any stretch, but those with him are simply superior. The back-and-forth dynamic, simple harmonies, and leads-and-follows that these two pull off vocally are top-notch. That’s not to say that “A Lesson in Romantics” is inconsistent; it is overall an excellent album. It isn’t quite as fast or saccharine-sweet as “So Wrong, It’s Right” by their tour mates All-Time Low, but that is not a weakness. “A Lesson in Romantics” is an entertaining mix of two genre staples: slow emoting: “Walk on Water or Drown,” “Miserable at Best,” and straight-ahead pop-punk sing alongs: “Jersey,” “Black Cat.” The record opens with a pleasant bang on “Jaime All Over.” The first lines “I had a dream last night we’d/drove out to see Las Vegas” are suitably large-sounding and do a good job of setting the tone for what follows. The slow songs don’t feel like filler: “Miserable at Best” is one of the best songs on the album, and the others more than stand on their own merits. That may be the album’s biggest strength, other than Lancaster/Sander’s vocal play. The more up-tempo tracks are entertaining, while the slower songs are thoughtful and easily appreciated. Nothing on this record screams “requisite.” Mayday Parade has here put forth a solid effort with tons of genre staying power, and this is why it is such a shame Lancaster left.
Check out the video for "When I get home, You're so dead"