“They’ll write a story of the lives we lived.”
It’s funny how lyrics can sum up a whole album, a whole state of mind, a whole gaggle of kids and their emotions. Forever Halloween, produced by Brendan Benson and released independently in the US by The Maine, is a rock n’ roll novel. Like a first-person narrative, Forever Halloween tells an all-too-honest tale of a 24-year-old’s mind and heart. The songs speak of never forgetting first loves, breaking a heart for the first time, the crippling fear that no one will catch your eye, that someone should break your heart to make sure it’s there. It tells of leaving family, wild nights out, and still feeling that familiar sense of invincibility that comes with being a teenager even when you’ve grown: being wild and free and bonding with friends so much that they become family.
Forever Halloween is a coming-of-age tale; critics have commented on the band’s maturity of sound and skill, but in reality, Forever Halloween is so much more than that. It’s raw and emotional and real. You can feel the passion, you can feel a band finding out who they are and what place they’re meant to have in the music scene; just like a main character following a path in life that is guaranteed to give them success. The Maine is good at this new alternative rock sound. It’s darker and it’s louder and it’s raspier but it’s where they were meant to go. They are going fast down that road to success; fans and album reviewers alike have praised the new record and can’t wait to see how the band evolves next.
Forever Halloween incorporates a little bit of the old pop rock sound while synching in a 90’s alternative vibe. The standout tracks include this fusing of styles. They are pleasing to the ear with good beats and impressive guitar work, catchy in that roll-the-windows down and sing along way, and can be enjoyed by the hardcore alternative fan or the pop-loving listener.
“Love & Drugs” is one of those tracks that aligns the old sound with the new. The chorus grabs attention with a catchy hook and the upbeat track keeps you coming back to listen again and again.
We’ve got champagne taste but not enough money for the real thing.
We’ve got flames in our veins but just enough money for the weekend.
Last night I did things my mother told me not to,
With the people I shouldn’t see, in the places that I should not go,
And it felt just like…love and drugs.
Other standouts include “White Walls” a song about family and change, “Forever Halloween” the title track full of experimentation and a gritty and abrupt rock n’ roll ending, and “F***** Up Kids” an anthem of friendship that includes a great gang vocal section.
“F***** Up Kids” moves the coming of age tale to a satisfying highpoint. The lyrics of Forever Halloween bring us through a journey of change and “F***** Up Kids” seems to accept that life is a search to find happiness through success and love and friendship. It becomes apparent that Forever Halloween is that story of “the lives we’ve lived.” When John O’Callaghan sings, “We’re alone but we’re not lonely” you believe him. It seems that the aim of this record is to sincerely express opinions, beliefs, and connect people through music. That’s what The Maine has always been good at, connecting with fans through lyrics and catchy music. And with the all-too-honest lyrics and evolved musicality, Forever Halloween does not disappoint.