2017 marks the ten year anniversary of The Maine, and their rise to the top is one hell of a story to tell. The five-piece have achieved cult-like status over the course of their six studio album releases, with their dedication to their fans being something of particular note. To The Maine, their fans are not just fans— they’re friends. The Arizona alt rockers are on first name basis with a considerable chunk of their following, not to mention they’ve put on free-for-all tours and spent hours on end waiting to meet a line of people that extends several blocks over. You will never catch a fan of The Maine feeling disillusioned as the band embrace that they wouldn’t be where they are without an audience.
The Maine put on their very own festival back in January of this year as a celebration of their ten years together and the friends they have made along the way. 8123 Fest, named after the management team for The Maine and related bands, coincided with the release of ‘Bad Behavior’— the first taste of the band’s sixth full-length release, Lovely Little Lonely. The album news came to light thanks to a billboard hanging above the venue used for the festival, spreading quickly across the internet. It wasn’t long before fans all over world were in the know and waiting eagerly for April 7.
The album opens with ‘Don’t Come Down’, a poignant, hopeful and beautifully written track that sets the scene. From the get-go, Lovely Little Lonely proves to be yet another brilliant album from a band that are incapable of failure. ‘Bad Behavior’ follows, which has quickly become a fan favourite since it was first released and then played live at 8123 Fest before thousands of emotional fans.
Particular stand outs come in the form of fast-paced ‘Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu’, which has lead singer John O’Callaghan showing off the extremes of his incredible vocal range, and ‘Do You Remember? (The Other Half of 23)’, which has a level of integrity that most bands achieving commercial success these days would kill for. One thing that has always been charming about The Maine is that they have never been anything other than humble and honest, which is refreshing considering some of their peers have not been able to attain the same.
The title of the album splits across three short, mostly instrumental gems— ‘Lovely’, ‘Little’ and ‘Lonely’— that sit third, seventh and eleventh respectively and act as section breakers, ultimately pushing the record in to a territory where its akin to a story. ‘Lonely’ is the penultimate track, followed only by ‘How Do You Feel?’ which is the kind of track which has obviously been crafted to allow fans to resonate with. Songs become special to fans because they mean something; because the lyrics are inspiring in one’s life. “You are alive but are you living?” is particularly hard-hitting, but it just goes to show how much The Maine truly care for their ever-dedicated fanbase.
It’s hardly unsurprising that The Maine have yet again hit the nail on the head with the release of this album, as they have yet to put out any material that hasn’t been loved dearly by both fans and critics alike. The level of talent they possess combined with their endearing moral high ground has made it quite clear that the celebration of their ten year anniversary will be the first of many milestones.