Feature: Mayday Parade's A Lesson In Romantics - 10 Years On

Written by Maddy Howell

As the U.S leg of their A Lesson In Romantics 10-year anniversary tour comes to a close, Florida pop-rockers Mayday Parade are set to bring proceedings over to the U.K at the end of this month. Ahead of the tour, we sat down with the seminal album to see whether it has truly stood the test of time.

With the days of transferring music via Bluetooth and crushing energy drink cans in parks now just memories fondly recalled amongst groups of friends, the soundtracks to those times hold distinct places in the hearts of those who lived them. Upon asking any ex-“emo kid” the question of what those soundtracks were, one record that will always seem to emerge in conversation is 'A Lesson In Romantics'.

Now 10 years on from its release, Mayday Parade’s debut full-length was never just another “scene phase” record to recover a decade later and cart off to a charity shop. Laced with nostalgic hooks that echo with mid-2000s sentimentality and accompanying lyrics laying bare the struggles of life, relationships and friendships, it became an instant lifeline for all those struggling to place words to their teen angst and anxieties.

'A Lesson In Romantics' was critical in paving the way for a new breed of musicians, spawning a wave of pop-punk that wasn’t ashamed to wear its heart on its sleeve. From the opening, anthemic chords of Jamie All Over, the record never once drops or falters in quality or artistic flair, constantly offering something innovative to set it apart from its predecessors.

With the swing influenced, cinematic big-band feel of Black Cat, the hardcore inspired chugging breakdowns in When I Get Home, You’re So Dead and the calming call and response style vocals in You Be The Anchor…, this seminal release has it all. Influences of countless other artists can be heard intertwined throughout the record, with notes of Panic! At The Disco, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New all making an impression. Each track plays out as a celebration of the early/mid-2000s scene, drawing forces from its counterparts to produce a series of jovial mash-ups.

However, that’s not to say that Mayday Parade didn’t craft something unique on their debut. Through its similarities and its obvious fitting to the time of its creation, 'A Lesson In Romantics' offered a first glimpse into the ways in which they were able to etch something timeless and remarkably memorable. Miserable At Best lives on as the album’s true pièce de résistance, displaying vocalist Derek Sanders’ songwriting at its most vulnerable on what would become a notoriously heart-breaking track of its time.

Whilst 'A Lesson In Romantics' may not be the most creatively impressive or divergent album of the mid-2000s, it never needed to be. What it may lack in base values it more than makes up for in its quirks. The unexpected pitch change in Jersey, the soothing 3/4 time of You Be The Anchor…, the poppy, driving guitar on Champagne’s For Celebrating, it’s the little things that keep this album such a wistful and clear memory in the minds of those who once loved it.

Catch Mayday Parade playing A Lesson In Romantics in full with support from All Get Out and With Confidence at the following dates...


18 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City

19 - LEEDS Stylus
20 - NEWCASTLE Academy
22 - MANCHESTER Academy
23 - BIRMINGHAM Institute
25 - OXFORD Academy
26 - CAMBRIDGE Junction
27 - BRIGHTON Concorde II
28 - SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
29 - BRISTOL Academy
30 - LONDON Forum