Review: Maypine – In The Back Of My Mind EP

Maypine are that rare form of pop-punk – new enough to radiate potential, with the originality and talent to be genuinely exciting. The Brighton five-piece only formed last year but their blend of rock, pop-punk and hardcore on ‘In The Back Of My Mind’ suggests they’re definitely ones to watch.

‘A Little Sooner’ opens with the poignant line “I wish I could feel invincible, instead of being invisible”, kick-starting a pattern of insecurity across the EP. It’s a well-written, fast-moving track that’d feel at home on You Me At Six’s debut album – if you substitute Franceschi’s bitterness for the earnestness of lead vocalist Jason Payne.

Next is relationship sinker ‘North South Divide’, a relatable saga tackling paranoia and self-worthlessness. Here Dan Jarvis’s backing vocals complement Payne’s smooth, expressive tone. Building from a lone bass and percussion, the bridge ticks many boxes: good change in pace, repeated phrases, a possible resolution (“We’ll be just fine”) and a final held note.

Maypine are surprisingly tight for a new band – there’s a lot happening in ‘Inside Out’. Highlighting their varied influences, there’s a chugging breakdown and gang vocals, while rapid guitar work in the chorus lends to an upbeat, pop vibe. Fittingly the lyrics embrace change, shrugging off the “indifference and a careless disposition” of old friends.

Payne’s vocals shine on semi-acoustic track ‘Never Far Apart’ but can’t prevent it from sounding like the EP’s token pop-punk ballad. While the raw subject matter may be responsible for this, the rhyming is often lazy and the track finishes too soon.

‘Day To Day’ is an energetic and impressive conclusion to the EP. As Payne questions “Is this what happy-ever-after feels like?”, his visceral anxieties are expressed through introspective lyrics, urgent power-chords and tireless drumming.

As Maypine set out on tour this August, they’re at a pivotal point. If their live show is as memorable as the EP, they won’t be playing small venues for long. That “beacon of hope” seems not too far away…

3.5/5

‘In The Back Of My Mind’ EP by Maypine is released on 4th August on Disconnect Disconnect Records.

Maypine links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp|Website

Words by Clare O’Shea (@Clare_OShea)

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