It’s been five years since ‘The Maine’ released their first full-length and they’ve evolved more than some bands do in double that amount of time, now with their fourth studio album ‘Forever Halloween’ they continue their journey towards classic rock with a perfect follow-up to 2011’s ‘Pioneer’.The album opens with ‘Take What You Can Carry’, inspired by Joseph and Mary’s night in Bethlehem. This middle of the road rock tune is fun and perfect to make listeners curious about what’s still coming, however the lyrics are not typical pop rock song themed, criticizing materialism and selling out.‘Love and Drugs’ is definitely one of the album’s highlights where they show their old fans they’re still the same band and able to produce melodic, energetic pop rock summer love anthems.On the other hand ‘Run’ and ‘White walls’ are two very different but raw, honest and impressive songs which shake things up a bit in a good way. ‘Run’ has somewhat heavier, dynamic guitar riffs but a too aggressive bass line which ultimately leaves the song without direction. The hushed mid-tempo track ‘White walls’ shows off the lyrical maturity of the band in comparison the 2011’s ‘Pioneer’. ‘Happy’ is a cynical and frank song but has a simple sweet tune, lightening the dark lyrics of the chorus.‘Birthday in Los Angeles’ and ‘These Four Words’ take the album to a new level, with only O’Callaghan’s vocals and a guitar or piano involved they can almost be considered as solo projects. ‘These Four Words’ really stands out and showcases the effectiveness of a piano ballad. It is simple, yet powerful and sincere with the lyrics reversing the typical love ballad. O’Callaghan sings about four words, as opposed to the three we are so accustomed to musicians singing about: not ‘I love you,’ but ‘I don’t love you.’‘Blood Red’ is an intriguing and haunting track with rather spooky piano and reverberations while ‘Kennedy Curse’ is one of the heaviest of the album, with some angsty strums and also embracing a harder tone in the verses. ‘Sad Songs’ on the other hand is not really a stand-out track, very generic in tone but reminiscent of ‘The Maine’s’ joyous sound so it will still be enjoyed and credited by fans. The slick and dynamic ‘Fucked Up Kids’ injects a bit of needed “so what” mentality again after all the rather upbeat melodies and the more misery and anguish themed ones.The title track ‘Forever Halloween’ sums up the whole album concept, sound and meaning, so a perfect song to close.In short, in 2013 ‘The Maine’ have delivered us ‘Forever Halloween’, a perfectly paced album with no bad track to be found, demonstrating how far the band have come and that sometimes a little change can pay off.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013