The Maine are a pop punk group on the rise with two albums and multiple EPs released over the past four years, They will open for Taking Back Sunday next Saturday at the Renaissance Coliseum for Homecoming, so Voice is taking a look back at their previous releases.
The group, a five-man band from Tempe, Ariz., has been together since 2007.
The band’s first EP released by a label, “The Way We Talk,” is five songs that are the most generic of their released music; it is their first work, and it really shows. The lyrics are familiar and they don’t try anything special with their music. None of it is really bad, but you’ve heard all of it before from better groups.
Their first full-length album, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” is a catchy group of songs focusing on the problems of being a teenager: girls are hard to understand and growing up is difficult. It is the standard topic of most bands in the genre, but The Maine’s slower pace lets them stand out among the crowd. They play more acoustic guitars than most; they’re clearly not in a hurry to get anywhere. The Maine wants you to sit back and revel in the misery of being young and worrying about the stupid things in life. It is a major step up from the previous EP.
The Maine followed in 2010 with “Black and White,” their second full-length album. A far more rock driven collection, lead singer John O’Callaghan is able to show off his vocal range in many songs, including the standout “Inside of You.” They continue to sing silly songs about getting older, ones that are capable of resonating with a listener, even if the lyrics are nothing special.
Very little The Maine does is original or envelope pushing, but they are clearly not interested in being innovators. They want to tell the story of American, middle-class adolescence, and enjoy the uncertainty of it all. The Maine has a positive outlook on the future, pushing forward to find their own path.
Breaking into a crowded genre could hurt their chance of success, but The Maine’s newer style of pop punk is their greatest asset among the competition. Though they started out sounding like everyone else, they’ve successfully broken from that to be a unique group with a bright future.