The Maine/Black & White

Black & WhiteThe Maine is an Alternative rock band from Tempe, Arizona, USA formed in 2007. The band’s name originates from a song called “The Coast of Maine”, by another band called “Ivory”.

Formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 2007 while most of the bandmembers were still in high school, the Maine turned their ’90s radio rock band influences into a pop-punk sound. Featuring singer John O’Callaghan, guitarists Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco, bassist Garrett Nickelsen, and drummer Pat Kirch. O’Callaghan was asked to join the group after Kirch’s brother heard him singing while at a party. The band gets their name from one of their biggest influences, Ivory. The band has a song called “Coast of Maine,” hence “The Maine.”

After gathering a huge following through Myspace, The Maine played their first show in front of over 600 fans, acquired solely through word of mouth and Myspace. The Maine’s live performances caught the eye of Fearless Records and booking agent Matt Galle. On May 8, 2007, the band released a digital EP called Stay Up, Get Down.” Among the songs on the EP is “Count ‘Em One, Two, Three” which was later re-recorded for their first full-length album, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” and”Daisy,”.

The Maine signed to Fearless Records and released a five-song concept EP, The Way We Talk, in 2007. After performing on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour, the band released their debut album Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, which was produced by Matt Squire.

They released a holiday EP in December 2008 titled …And A Happy New Year; it included a cover of Wham!‘s song “Last Christmas” and three original songs. The Maine released a deluxe version of their debut album, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” along with a digital documentary called “In Person” in July 2009.

The Maine has released their first single, “Inside Of You“, from their album due in July 2010 called Black & White. “Inside Of You” is now available on iTunes as a single. They also released “Growing Up” on May 18th.

Don’t Stop Now—-From the onset, I notice the heavy and louder than expected drums. The vocal enters and is so damn pleasant I might just fall in love. This is not what I expected…this is not Pop Punk, not really Emo…..this is just damn nice. I love the voice and the fact that the whole band seems to involved on vocal duties. this is well constructed and something that you could listen to every day….nice guys!

Right Girl—-This is delivered with a bit more musical muscle that unfortunately settles too much to allow the entrance of the vocal. The lyrical content is a bit juvenile, but still comes across as pretty relatable. the chorus is actually HUGE..opening up and allowing the band members to really show how well they can play. This is really nice!

Growing Up—-This is a damn pleasant acoustic styled Emo track that is full of love worn lyrics and emotions you don’t expect from a bunch of guys. The song opens up really nice to allow for the chorus and the song becomes more lively after the first go around. This is so damn pleasant there is little not to like. For $7.99, I think I am the winner of this game.

Fuel To The Fire—-Returning to a much more predictable sound, at times this band makes me think of The All American Rejects. I love the catchiness of the songs, although the lyrics are more geared to 14 year olds than someone of my age…at any rate, these guys are really good musicians and that overrides the less than stellar lyrical content.

Inside Of You—-Again..with the really surprising drums. The nice delivery seems to pace the song from the very onset. The vocal is a bit more sedate but still opens up and allows band participation on the chorus. this borders on that poppy sound that so many bands have perfected up to now…the difference with this band is the musicianship…these guys are pretty damn good at what they do. This is great.

Every Road—-Wow, this is nice….the guitars have an almost Alt-Country sound that is magical. The voice is full of a pained emotion that you really feel. This at times makes me think of Blue October. This is great…the music is powerful but never overpowers the vocal and the guitar gives the song a unique sound that is not like any one else is doing right now. This is great!

Listen To Your Heart—-Well, the band never seems to cease to amaze me with the many different moods that they have all on one collection. This is poppy, heartfelt and so damn catchy I may have this with me for quite sometime. The drums are stellar as usual..the guitars are a bit louder and with a gentle fuzz…this is fantastic!!!

Saving Grace—-With a nice slightly heavier sound, it drives me crazy when bands desert the instrumentation to allow for the entrance of the vocal…keep the power chords going guys. The chorus opens back up and allows the band to really play and the other members join in on the vocal as well…giving the song a really full sound. I love this release.

Give It To Me—-The vocal enters almost from the first note of this track and is as pleasant as you would expect. The chorus is this huge effort that sounds like they got a huge crowd to sing along with them. This is really well done…the production is fantastic and the clarity is unreal…you catch every single word and you are never at a loss as to the sentiment of the song. This is great…jeez…where have I been.

Color—-Rounding out this exceptional release with a nice power ballad that plays so well in my headphones i may have to listen to this again and again and again. This reminds me of classic Weezer…this is fantastic super pop for the new Millenium. Wonderfully written and delivered.

****3/4 out of 5


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