Mayday Parade steps up its game with an eponymous third studio album that surpasses its critically acclaimed debut LP, A Lesson in Romantics. Where the band’s sophomore album featured outside songwriters, this time it insisted on crafting its own tunes and keeping the overall sound organic and live. “Oh Well, Oh Well” opens as lonely piano notes and strings play under Derek Sanders’ heartbroken inflections; then a hi-hat countoff detonates the song into a snarling, rocking emo epic. “No Heroes Allowed” follows, boasting one of the album’s best guitar solos and dynamically doubled vocals. Although guitarist/backing vocalist Jason Lancaster left the band for personal reasons following its first album, vestiges of his guitar and singing style haunt the standout power ballad “When You See My Friends.” The heartfelt “Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven't Ended Yet” closes with old-school emo balladry. Intimate acoustic versions of “When You See My Friends” and “Oh Well, Oh Well” are bonus tracks.