REVIEW: MAYDAY PARADE – MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET

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Reviewed by Mark Plummer
From the opening few bars of this album, a cross of The Beach Boys and Queen, there’s a definitive notion that Monsters In The Closet is going to be expansive and build upon the foundations that Mayday Parade have already laid down. Opener, Ghosts, offers up a feeling of rebirth; the guitars in particular have changed timbre and exhibit more flare, an electrifying feel that is solidified in each solo throughout the album. This is a most appropriate opener, leaving the listener with a certain mystery as to what to expect next.

Moving on quickly past Girls (a track that feels like it’s been plucked from the A Lesson In Romantics era), the haunting start that is, Last Night For A Table For Two, opens onto a strong bass line and drums that get the blood pumping and project life into the song. The clarity in vocal production appears to stand out above other aspects, that is until the guitar solo that, once again, soars to the heights of the song; it creates a facade that this is something to be expected in more places.

The Torment of Existence Weighed Against the Horror of Nonbeing is a charming getaway from the styles of the last three tracks, here is a song that mirrors that of Ghosts more closely, whilst also being more progressive. The consonant harmonies between guitars is enjoyable and its situation at the end of the chorus rather than opening into another full-blown solo, is satisfying. Sticking out above everything else is the apparent inclusion of an accordion through the first verse that, when brought together with the percussive use of drumsticks on the rim of the snare, give this track a very intriguing “ye olde” and seaside-esque approach.

Throughout this release there are moments of worth: Repent and Repeat starts to lean towards releases of old in the opening minute or so, before a nifty riff works through the verse and chorus, moving this track on past their old repertoire and bringing more edge to the bands sound. The bluesy and country guitar moments in Hold Onto Me help to breathe life into a mournful track that, vocally, builds up for a climax of raw emotion. Closing track Angels is a lot cleaner when compared to opener Ghosts and the final assumption is that this album has not come full circle, but that whatever comes next is a continuation (we shall wait and see). Whilst Angels is continually expanding, it still manages to stay sensible and true to itself, introducing each instrument in gentle progression; the call and response vocal work is very complimentary and bolstered by the subtle and warm female voice in the chorus.

The most stunning notion that Monsters In The Closet presents, is the idea that Mayday Parade have managed to write an album that can dip and dab here and there, where need be. Whether it’s taking the guitar work and theatrical flare of My Chemical Romance, the country blues, or classical string ensembles; it’s all woven it into something that, in all of its essence, is still plainly Mayday Parade. For a band on their fourth full length album, this is more than impressive and manages to banish any feelings of worry that this could have been a ‘safe’ and ‘boring’ release. Bravo!

4½ out of 5

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