Having almost entirely shred the image of typical-predictable pop-punker poster-boy syndrome, The Maine, otherwise-renowned alt-rock hooligan’s hailing from Tempe, Arizona dawned the helms of inspiration as they once trekked head-first down the beaten-path in an effort to lay-claim to the upper-tiers of artistry far more sublime.  The paradigm had shifted, in 2011 The Maine felt supremely-confident to cut-ties with mainstream success and not-to-mention, their major label, Warner Music Group.  It’s funny what blood emerges cast a shadow amid creative-differences.

                The Maine took their newfound sonic-fueled direction and entered an Arizona-farmhouse to pen and record a fresh batch of songs that undoubtedly would take shape in the form of their magnum-opus: Pioneer.  Six affirmative years later, this record still bares the cross of maturation no other band of the era had yet to relinquish into the arms of the public. 

                Opening under a tantalizing guitar-plucked cadence, this ne’er-do-wrong bunch ties-one-on with a little-ditty certain to ignite sparks-of-frenetic-frenzy complimenting a fresh start under their own terms.  First-out and assuredly optimistic, “Identify” boasts a sardonic-flourish of unruly sorts as frontman/lead-vocalist, John O’Callaghan sounds-off: “…3,2,1 a hurricane baby!”  From there, the cut perpetuates the full-band treatment and what a treat it is.  It’s a full-fledged assault consummately identifying the band laden to a new identity.

                 While the following cut may appear upon first listen to merely cater to the most devout-to-the-core fanboys, the seemingly polished approach hailing prototype-pop-punk bravado: “My Heroine” also peels-back layers to reveal a spiritual-yearning catharsis rendered through the scourging roots of southern-rock mysticism.  From then on, it’s clear to see, these once unfairly, commonly-labeled (Boys Like Girls) knock-offs privy to the poor-man’s market, fervently came to play heralding a whole new bag-of-tricks. 

                Calling to task their absolute finest rendition ergo channeling the ghost of Kings of Leon spinning the punk-rock tip, “Some Days” croons us with it’s cunning aloof swagger and charisma.  While much of Pioneer charmingly perches itself upon the anthemic-arches of arena-rock majesty, it takes the solemn shroud of such tracks: the string-stained “I’m Sorry” and even the smoldering “Misery” to set the aim high and knock it out of the park fully-clad abroad the familiar prongs of nostalgia.  Endearingly-confessional, irreverently-poetic, thus was the end-game The Maine brought forth gilded sacredly in the sum of…….Pioneer.

Written By: Nathan Porter

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