This album has for months been at the top of the Alternative Press Reader’s chart for a reason (and not up for best album in their awards, confused) and that is for a reason, it takes real courage for a band to do a completely live record, as live records can expose so much about a band and it’s weaknesses but with a record like Forever Halloween, flaws are extremely hard to find and it’s popularity in AP is just an indicator of just how good this record is.
Most fans of this band have been looking forward to hearing Ice Cave, a song The Maine have played on many tours recorded finally, and finally the band put us out of our misery and finally put the song to record and boy did they bring it on that song, with that groove of a guitar going on and from that first scream at the beginning of the song you know this song is going to be as dramatic as a thunderstorm in the middle of summer – John O’Callaghan’s voice is raspy but clear. If Ice Cave does anything is lead you into a false sense of security, cos just when you think the end is nigh it will kick in with those heavy drums and guitars that will make you wanna hear this song again and you’ll need to really appreciate what they’ve done with this song.
Ugly On The Inside, the lead single off the deluxe part of the album is in my opinion sounds a little dated and a throwback to nineties musical influences, however it’s well written but a little clichéd and that let it’s down a little, and this continues on songs like Vanilla. Vanilla is a much more sophisticated song with a classy melody and some unique sounds that really define a band like The Maine, but it is definitely very much a hark back to bands like Death Cab For Cutie for example – other songs on the Deluxe Edition are excellent though and really stand out.
So Criminal and Bliss are really the reasons I bought the songs. These two songs really bring guitarists, Garrett and Jared to the fore and they work so well together and they are distinct when it comes to The Maine with different styles from usual when it comes to The Maine but incorporating the vocals so well of John that these songs work so much better than other songs. I also think the work of Pat Kirch is undervalue and really keeps the songs cohesive, I can’t remember a boring drum beat coming out of this band and that’s really down to the guy sitting at the back of the stage behind his kit.
There’s no really doubt to me this is a great record, Blood Red, White Walls and Sad Songs are some of my favourite songs on the original version of the album, and there’s not a bad song on that record from the beginning to end every song is worthy of listening to, but it really does show when it comes to these songs there’s a reason they didn’t make it in the final cut however I am glad finally we have Ice Cave recorded, be able to hear that song in high quality is worthy of purchase for the dedicated in itself.