Review Rundown: Mayday Parade, A Clear Blurr, Eye Alaska, Every Time I Die, Dethklok


This offering from the Review Rundown will take looks at new releases from Mayday Parade, A Clear Blurr, Eye Alaska, Every Time I Die and Dethklok.

Mayday Parade – ‘Anywhere But Here’ (Atlantic/Fearless Records): This is a tight collection of relatable songs that will click with those whose relationship has ended and those who have lost love in the past, but for the most part, ‘Anywhere But Here’ is a record that most listeners will keep on repeat. There is a lot to like on Mayday Parade’s sophomore effort, including slick production, crisp edges, and, as you would expect, ultra catchy hooks. This disc is fun yet focused, and easy going, yet mature. It is proof that Mayday Parade can hang with the top bands of genre without having to resort to many scene tactics. ‘Anywhere But Here’ is a straight ahead record that registers more powerpop than emo thanks to its guitar/vocals aesthetic, which leads to bright moments like ‘Get Up’ and ‘Center of Attention.’ Vocalist Derek Sanders sounds like a burgeoning star and it is his vocal capacity that really fuels ‘Anywhere But Here.’ This is a charming record that is easy to fall in love with. See for yourself. (www.myspace.com/maydayparade)
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘Still Breathing’

A Clear Blurr – ‘Trigonometry’: Attention: for those who missed out watching Blink-182 grow and mature since their inception, Jersey’s A Clear Blurr offers a second chance for you to jump on the bandwagon before they blow up and hit their stride. Their debut, ‘Trigonometry,’ works on a number of levels – it will satisfy both fans of powerpop as well as mainstream pop punk and the scenesters will love it because these guys aren’t yet on a national level. It is a pop punk extravaganza, a record that is as youthful and energetic as they come, packed tight with anthemic choruses and buoyant and poignant efforts. This one should win over hordes of listeners. For how good ‘Trigonometry’ is, they deserve it. A Clear Blurr have the chops of the Starting Line and early Fall Out Boy, two bands whose influence can be felt up and down the hallways of this disc (‘Sharks & Liars,’ ‘Don’t Listen,’ ‘Whiny Bitch’). The endearing sentiment of album closer ‘Tinted Blue’ is just icing on the tasty cake that is ‘Trigonometry.’ (www.myspace.com/aclearblurr)
Grade: A
Go Download: The entire record

Eye Alaska – ‘Genesis Underground’ (Fearless Records): Eye Alaska’s ‘Genesis Underground’ is a genre bending affair that succeeds in blurring the lines between pop, rock and R&B, something the band has become known for these days. Think of them as a Maroon 5/Gym Class Heroes/Cobra Starship hybrid. Well, a considerably less vapid Cobra Starship with far less scene theatrics and Brandon Wronski fronting, not Gabe Saporta. ‘Genesis Underground’ is truly entrancing and utterly immersive, frothing with charisma and wonderful atmospherics. You really don’t know what you’re getting from track to track. At one moment you might get a classic R&B groove (‘Show Me Daluv’) or lounge-y spoken word (‘Star Pilot’) and the in the next instant youre listening to radio ready pop rock with enormous hooks (‘Walk Like a Gentleman,’ ‘Roll Right Over’), or a mix tape worthy love affair (‘Miles Don’t Mean Anything’). ‘Genesis Underground’ is a record that truly takes Eye Alaska to that next level, and is one of, if not the, most fascinating releases to be dropped by Fearless Records this year, if not ever. (www.myspace.com/eyealaska)
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Roll Right Over’

Dethklok – ‘Dethklok II’ (William Street Records): There is a surprisingly high body count ‘Dethklok II,’ the sophomore release from the fictional Cartoon Network band, and is their best to date. Seriously though – the bodies up both during the songs themselves as well as between them during the skits and anecdotes. These interludes are only part of the albums hilarious charm and when paired with the sound of blood spilling, bombs exploding, screams of agony, machine guns, etc, you have the core aesthetic and selling point of this record. Double bass blast beats, death metal stomps and serious guitar distends abound throughout this disc. Fans of the show and fans of the death/thrash genre will be pleased but no one will get out this disc alive. That is a guarantee. (www.myspace.com/dethklok)
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘Symmetry’

Every Time I Die – ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ (Epitaph Records): This release is less intricate musically than Every Time I Die has been in the past, but that allows vocalist Keith Buckley to shine. While this is a more centered affair on the whole, there are still those tracks that that make ETID special (‘Wanderlust,’ ‘Host Disorder’). After a couple of alright releases, Buffalo’s ETID have returned to prominence with their latest, ‘New Junk Aesthetic,’ their best record since 2003’s ‘Hot Damn!’ This disc might even be better (gasp!). Before you stop reading because of that statement, consider this – ‘New Junk Aesthetic’ is as focused as the band has been in years, and the Queen City boys haven’t sounded this massive in a while. The usual ETID tricks and treats are still prevalent – swirling guitar work, dizzying tempos and unique song structures. All the bands boastful swagger is there (‘Who Invited the Russian Soldier?) as well as the bands distinctive bravado (‘Turtles All the Way Down’), but this record just sounds more complete. No, these guys haven’t changed much, they have only gotten better. (www.myspace.com/everytimeidie)
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Roman Holiday’

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