The Maine – You Are OK

The Maine are a terribly consistent band. If anything, these Arizona pop-rockers have managed to carve themselves a very comfortable spot within the spectrum of pop-punk influenced pop rock. At times they show a razor blade sharpness to their music, and at times, they’re softer than a plush toy you find in the baby section at Harrods. Herein lies the crux of The Maine. If you like pop rock with the occasional dalliance with punk’s seedy underground but aren’t interested in being offended, then there is lots to like in almost every album released by The Maine. Forever Halloween was pretty good, and the infectious tone of “Bad Behaviour” from 2017’s Lovely Little Lonely was an example of their radio-ready ability.

Yet the band have rarely done anything that warrants much more than a pleasant response. Not that it’s a bad thing per say, like we said, they’re terribly consistent. You Are OK opens with a pretty great track actually. “Slip The Noose” is proof that when The Maine want to rock a little harder, things are pretty memorable. Same thing goes for songs like the orchestral-tracked “Heaven, We’re Already Here”, coming across a little like Quietdrive with a bigger budget. The closing “Flowers On The Grave” is a grandiose, sweeping track that shoots for the stars. It is quite good except it goes on… and on… and on… and at almost 10 minutes (!) long, it overstays its welcome which is a shame because it could have been the album’s stand out moment. The biggest problem for The Maine however, is when they find themselves in bland pop territory. Sounding somewhere in between Maroon 5 and the Jonas Brothers, things become overly mawkish and dull. “Broken Parts” and the pretty insipid “Tears Won’t Cry (SHINJU)” are songs that will make you want to hit that skip/next track button fast. Terrible.

That’s the problem with The Maine really. They’re good at what they do, and at times show that they’ve got a little bit of an edge to their music. But most times they’re floating in the same water as so many radio-friendly All Time Low-lite pop rock bands that it all blurs into one big giant indiscernible ocean of nothingness. “You Are OK” The Maine say. Yes, we are OK. And The Maine are OK too. But just OK. Not great.

(8123 Records)

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