Maypine have changed. Anyone who remembers their first EP ‘In The Back Of My Mind’ will be surprised at the level of change Maypine have embraced in their newest release. After a traumatic house fire destroyed nearly all of vocalist Jase and his fiancée’s possessions, it is completely understandable as to why such a change has come. The question is whether they have the potential and dedication to pull off an a diverse change with ‘Bend/Break’
‘Give’, as previously discovered, is a major step forward in Maypine’s new stylistic development. All traces of the old band are hidden beneath a much slower, darker atmospheric piece. Could the track have a little more depth? Potentially. Simplicity works well for the opening track, but can form a slight repetitive feel in the tracks chorus. ‘Kodokushi’, named respectively after the Japanese phenomenon of dying alone and undiscovered is rather similar in terms of a darker atmospheric approach (if not already hinted by its name). Echoing a strong catchy riff throughout the track, a strong start is certainly formed, becoming consistent to its end. A shift between verse and chorus is definitely more apparent, with the subtly contrasting upbeat guitar tones and fast drum beat bouncing off the more sorrowful lyrical aspects. Yet, the track still feels like it’s missing something, something different to the overused guitar patterns of the EP and the saddening lyrics. An idea that Maypine are on the edge of finding but haven’t quite found.
Penultimate track ‘Weather’ is one that during the first few seconds, seems to be poised as the more positive track from the EP. The truthful fact is, it’s not a super upbeat track as may be assumed. ‘Bend//Break’ isn’t necessarily a super upbeat pop-punk track, neither are Maypine. The track symbolises “letting your guard down and opening up to people. Specifically in this case, it refers to the person you love” and in it’s own way, ‘Weather’ perfectly sums exactly what is described, similarly to the whole album. As a symbolism for the EP, not every song is upbeat and happy, nor slower and darker, Instead, a well thought out mix protrudes through the release bringing a balance that works well for such a direction.
Final track ‘Together Alone’ incorporates more of a generalised alternative rock styling, with an opening in some ways slightly reminiscent to ‘How You Remind Me’ from Nickelback. Whether or not you like and/or agree, Maypine definitely weave in a heavier style. Verse wise, musical input is very simplistic, emphasising Jase’s clear vocals and lyrics. Evolving into the chorus, the heavy transcendence Maypine reach truly speaks out as a top track from the EP. Of a release of good strength, ‘Together Alone’ most certainly tops this release as the most polished and well created.
Simply speaking, ‘Bend/Break’ isn’t revolutionary. It’s difficult to predict their next steps as a band, whether they will move forward on such a style or if they will bend again to a new genre. For a (second) debut, this isn’t bad, a little repetitive and room for development definitely. However, It’s good with at least two out of four tracks certainly above the average for a smaller debut release. Worth a listen if you have the time.