Released: 9th July 2021
Continuing a rich vein of form since switching their style up on 2015’s ‘American Candy’, The Maine keep the bangers coming on ‘XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time’.
Emerging as cheesy emo-fringed scenesters in the late 2000s, the Arizona band released a few albums of more serious rock songs before finding their groove in shiny pop songs adorned with slick indie guitar riffs. Lead single ‘Sticky’ sets the tone musically, choppy clean guitar bursts syncopating a straight-up pop vocal, but is trumped for sheer catchiness by standout track ‘Lips’.
Independently releasing records since 2014, The Maine are in full control, confidently incorporating programming and loops into their setup; ‘April 7th’ bathes its chorus in a wash of synth that allows John O’Callaghan’s vocal to glide along in its slipstream.
Lyrically they aren’t pulling up trees, but that’s never been the pull of this earnest five-piece, who excel in delighting their devoted family of hardcore fans. For years a band who seemed to both punch above their weight and simultaneously not reach their full potential, their status in the post-emo alternative scene can no longer be in any doubt on a swaggering outing.