After a brief intro track (whats the point of intros, anyway?), Mayflower kicks things off with the energetic I Never , an Off With Their Heads influenced gruff punk song with group choruses and a memorable hook. Its a fitting start to Second Best Sunsets, setting the tone of cynicism contrasted with bouncy, hold-your-beer-in-the-air sing-a-longs. What separates Mayflower from other, similar-sounding contemporaries, are Teddy Caspers vocals, which have a hint of emotive inflection that supersedes the frustrated tone used by other bands. Its a style fitting with other Kiss of Death releases, even if the band hails from Syracuse instead of the Tampa region. It holds that familiar feeling that gets the blood pumping early on, but its new enough to intrigue. As Casper rushes through full sentence lyrics in I Never , theres an urgency that leads to the chorus of I hope and believe that some day. Another standout track is House Show is a Four-Letter Word. The guitars set the tone early before the breakdown and vocals kick in with the were all in this together mantra.
The lyrics range in topic, taking on macroeconomics in Election Days, to the positivecore message of I Want to Live, with its refrain of Wake up/Before you wake up dead that reminds of a hardcore lyric book. Where it suffers is that many of the choruses come across a little too directly, as in the preachy Election Days or in Cellophane. Its catchy, but a little more nuance would be appreciated. The tone is rather serious, with a few sound clips inserted to break up the music, but they serve mostly to reinforce the thematic intent of the song. While Im all for changing the world, the tone can get a bit heavy-handed and it knocks some momentum away. When they arent talking political, its mostly an uplifting, community tone that is well-suited to the group choruses.
7.0 / 10
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