The Maine: Pioneer

When my favorite bands announce their tour lineups, I have to promptly check out who they’re touring with if I don’t know the band. This fall, that happened when Taking Back Sunday announced a tour with The Maine (which I didn’t get to see because they didn’t come back to Charlotte, NC). Somehow, I had not discovered the wonder that was The Maine before this tour came about, but after this was announced, I became obsessed with the album Black & White. Today, the band released their third full-length album, Pioneer. And this, my friends, is the album of the day.

The first track off this brand spankin new album is a slow jam called Identify that showcases the band’s strengths musically. Vocally, it could be better for an opener, but it’s enough to make a person continue listening.

My Heroine starts off a bit nitty-gritty. The vocals are intriguing and the lyrics are enough to make my ears perk up. I can’t help but be reminded of a song (and album) by From First To Last of times past – but only in name,  not at all in sound.

I’m Sorry is a somber song with a twist of some really fine tuned guitar playing. O’Callaghan’s vocals croak out phrases that I’m sure we cal all relate to – ones about being only human, or about how hard it is to say you’re sorry. What’s better than something you can truly relate to? It makes the connection so much stronger.

My toes were tapping before I was ten seconds into Don’t Give Up On “Us” which is always a good sign of things to come. By the time the chorus hit, the involuntary movement from my body parts had only increased. Favorite.

Thinking of You is such a different tune than some of the rest of the album. It’s rather up beat and more dancey than some of the other thirteen tracks, but this one has such a care free attitude and would make you smile on any rainy day.

The vocals in Like We Did [Windows Down] almost remind me of The Boss in a scruffy kind of way. This song explodes into an amazing chorus that I would absolutely sing at the top of my lungs when I was home alone.

The album wraps up on a positive note with a song that is both slowed down and upbeat in the chorus. Waiting for My Sun to Shine is a great way to wrap up a really good album.

If you’ve never listened to them, The Maine has such a unique sound in a musical world where everyone sounds so similar that it’s robotic and frightening. I can’t decide if it’s in the way they intertwine the instruments or if it comes from John O’Callaghan’s lead vocals. Some bands I can at least come up with a couple of other bands who I would place on the same level, but that isn’t the case with this band. Go listen to this.

Key Tracks:
Don’t Give Up On “Us” (track 6)
When I’m At Home (track 8)
Like We Did [Windows Down] (track 11)

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