December 06, 2011 - Action Theory
This review originally ran in AP 282.
“All songs written by the Maine.” In a scene oversaturated with bands relying on mercenary co-writers to make their songs palatable, that credit in Pioneer’s liner notes is all the proof you need to know that the Maine have finally stepped into their own, channeling the ghost of ’90s alt-rock to sculpt one hell of an album. There’s the scorching, vintage-Weezer guitar solo in the middle of “Misery”; the post-grunge hooks of Everclear in “Some Days”; the instrumental swagger of Third Eye Blind in “Waiting For My Sun To Shine”; and the delicate balladry of Semisonic in “Jenny.” Hell, “When I’m At Home” sounds like Manchester Orchestra, another band hugely indebted to ’90s alt-rock. And really, that’s the biggest surprise on Pioneer: This album honestly, truly rocks. Not in a gimmicky pop-punk sort of way, but in an honest-to-God rock ’n’ roll way. Out of all the bands borne out of Warped Tour Nation, we never would’ve guessed the Maine would be the ones putting out rock records this consistently unique, interesting and, well, great. Don’t stop now, boys. Keep ’em coming.