By Brock Seng
The past week in music has been absolutely insane. The train-wreck that is Miley Cyrus released her new CD “Bangerz,” Korn reunited with Brian “Head” Welch for their new CD, “The Paradigm Shift” and former Hey Monday lead singer and The Voice winner Cassadee Pope released her debut solo album “Frame By Frame.”
But, more importantly, the lawsuit delayed album by Ocala’s own A Day To Remember “Common Courtesy” and Tallahassee’s Mayday Parade’s “Monsters In The Closet” came out.
Both of these bands have, in part, Gainesville to thank for their success. Mayday Parade would road trip to Gainesville a lot during the early days of their band. I’ve spoken with lead singer Derek Sanders on a couple of occasions about how Gainesville helped further Mayday Parade’s career. And, although I haven’t had the luck of talking with A Day To Remember, from many interviews I’ve read, and the fact that Ocala is less than an hour away, Gainesville was a big scene to them.
A Day To Remember’s “Common Courtesy” isn’t just a CD. It is their first CD on their own, trying to step away from Victory Records. After the lawsuit they had closed on Oct. 4, the CD was legally allowed to be released only on ADTR.com on Oct. 8. Tom Denney, the former guitarist of ADTR, also came back to work and help write for this CD, marking an almost return to the band for him.
I figured I would do a review of each of these Florida bands CDs. Personally, I hate when non-fans review an album. They don’t know the band. They think they understand what the band is trying to do and they can’t ever compare it to the band’s past.
I, on the other hand, am an avid fan of both of these bands. Actually, the bicep of my left arm is covered with a tattoo of Mayday Parade’s “A Lesson In Romantics” album cover and I was born and raised in Ocala. With that, a new album release by these two bands I take to heart. I sit up at midnight waiting for them to pop up on iTunes so I can buy them, download them and listen non-stop.
With that, I have listened only to these two albums since they were released. Here is that review:
Mayday Parade – “Monsters In The Closet”
Mayday Parade has matured 100x over since their last album came out in 2011. They have finally captured what it was that most fans felt when they first “A Lesson In Romantics”.
This CD is spot-on Mayday Parade. From the pop-like song “Girls” to classic Mayday Parade in “Ghosts”, to the slow paced, yet beautiful, song in “12 Through 15,” this CD has enough on it to tug at both your emotions and your ears.
It doesn’t have the sound that their self-titled had. It has a totally different sound, reminiscent of their debut EP “Tales Told By Dead Friends”. It sounds just like their EP, minus Jason Lancaster of course.
This CD should, and will, be on repeat on any Mayday Parade fan’s iPod for a long time to come. Any person new to Mayday Parade will love the CD and become a fan. Mayday Parade did an awesome job creating a masterpiece with “Monsters In The Closet” and you will not be disappointed at all.
A Day to Remember – “Common Courtesy”
While “Common Courtesy” opens up like a strong A Day To Remember album, the album as a whole sounds nothing like the band everyone once knew. If you’re looking for classic A Day To Remember you won’t find it on “Common Courtesy”. There are places where the old ADTR peaks through the blinds, but it sounds like a whole new band. And then, the worse places, it sounds like basic radio rock that you hear on the daily. A cookie-cutter sound.
When the CD is great, it’s great. The opening track “City of Ocala” is an absolute masterpiece. It sounds from the start like a concert staple that you’ll hear them play live a lot. Same with “Right Back At It Again” and “Violence (Enough Is Enough).” These songs are 10/10s on this CD. “Violence (Enough Is Enough)” even sounds, and feels, like the old ADTR.
Two non-ADTR sounding songs that are still spot on are “End Of Me”, a Staind-sounding song, and “I Surrender”, which is a pop-rock love song. These sound nothing like classic ADTR but they are still great songs.
If you’re looking for classic ADTR, avoid this CD at all costs. You won’t find anything resembling pre-”Homesick” days. If you’re looking for the sequel to “What Separates Me From You” this will be your knight in shining armor.
Overall, this CD is just average. After waiting years for its release, “Common Courtesy” is a disappointment. Listen to it, but don’t expect perfection.