Recording information: Best Westren, Winston Salem, NC; Koga Studio, Lagos, NGA; Papa's Crib, Miami, FL; Strangeland Studios, Lee's Summit, MO; The Brickhouse, Wichita, KS; The Clarion Hotel, Greeley, CO; The Cuban American Social Club, Miami, FL.
Kicking off with the moody, minimal track "Jettison," Future/Vintage finds Strange Music stalwarts Mayday! in an ambitious mood, exploring new genres and sounds, which for these underground kings often means new flavors of pop. If that intro number isn't the polished stuff of B.o.B., Drake, or even Eminem in ballad mode, then "Fuel to the Fire/Plex Missed the Photo Shoot" certainly is, and later the buttery "Stay Away from You" spreads it on as smooth as Miguel with "You make me feel so good/I should probably stay away from you" being the song's hook. Getting back to basics, the grinding guitar on "Can't Take It with You" assures returning listeners that this is a rock-rap group they've long loved, while the kinetic "Space Cadet/The Future Is in Our Hands" ("Are you for real, or from outer space!") connects the dots between Fishbone and CeeLo Green with a glorious Mayday! mix of punk and soul. Dealing with betrayal, "Against My Better Judgement" is a high-water mark for the group when it comes to songwriting, plus Strange Music label boss Tech N9ne lands on "Know It/LOL Bye Bye," a bluesy, melancholic song that pours its heart out and wins. Broken hearts, bad vibes, and slow ballads are all over Future/Vintage, but as Mayday! grow older, they prove they're capable of tackling these topics and tones while maintaining the power and the punch of their early days. ~ David Jeffries