Mayday Parade’s ‘Ghosts’ Is Pop Punk Meets Queen — In The Best Way Possible

Listen to  MayDay Parade's "Ghosts."

Mayday Parade deal with spectral issues in their new track, “Ghosts.”

Pop-punk bands are typically good students of music history. (I mean, you kind of have to be to pull off the deceptively simple genre without seeming cliché.) But for a lot more bands than you might think, that historical perspective inevitably comes back to classic Brit stadium rockers Queen. And for good reason: Queen rule. (It worked wonders for My Chemical Romance in their “Welcome To The Black Parade” period.)

Today, Tallahassee, Fla.’s favorite pop-punk sons, Mayday Parade, channel the spirit of Freddie Mercury & Company in “Ghosts,” the first song off their upcoming album, Monsters In The Closet.

Listen to Mayday Parade’s “Ghosts” after the jump.

Chopping out three or four chords and shouting punchy choruses is great and all, but every now and then you need to flex your chops and head in a proggier direction. That’s certainly true on Ghosts,” which begins with theatrical chorals and harmonized guitar that seem pulled straight from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

That’s not to say this track doesn’t feature plenty of the quintet’s familiar straight-ahead energy; “Ghosts” is a pogo-worthy sprint for the bulk of its near 5 minutes, with call and response and gang vocals giving the track its charge of shout-along spirit. But this time around, the song’s youthful pop-punk spirit is bracketed by string passages, piano, and the aforementioned multi-tracked singing, which elevate Mayday Parade to the next level of musical maturity.

Yeah, yeah, the dreaded m-word can often mean a band is reaching beyond its grasp. But “Ghosts” and the tracks on Monsters In The Closet (whose recording we checked in on a little while back) are a logical piece of their musical progression. Singer Derek Sanders went into more detail in a recent interview about the recording process:

“We’ve kind of grown up together and matured as people and musicians, as a band, the way we play and write together has changed over time,” he said. “But in general it’s just the same basic idea. We try to write the best songs we can and then go record them. Don’t really overthink too much other than that. There’s nothing we specially try and change from one album to the next, you know? We try to find the best way to make everything work together for the whole experience. That’s the biggest thing I guess, each time you get more comfortable in the studio.”

Sanders sounds a lot happier here than he does in “Ghosts,” where he’s dealing with a pretty incessant specter. “There’s a ghost in my bedroom, it haunts me at night,” he sings. “I’ve asked him to leave, but he keeps stopping by.”

How rude!

Bass player Jeremy Lenzo explained more about the track in a press release: “This song has to do with your inner demons, and it portrays that in a literal sense by referring to them as ghosts and how they are always with you.”

Monsters In The Closet, Mayday Parade’s fourth album, is out Oct. 8 on Fearless Records, after which the band will embark on the Glamour Kills Tour.

+ Listen to Mayday Parade’s “Ghosts.”

Photo credit Tom Falcone