Let’s get some background info: Maple Hill is a four-piece pop-punk band hailing from Ithaca, NY The foursome was first created in mid-2014 and released their debut EP, A Moment Alone, in September of that year. Now, after recording in Panda Studios for a couple months, which is also where State Champs and The Story So Far have recorded, Maple Hill is set to release their debut full-length album Headspace in February of 2016.
Read Maureen’s review below!
Let me start by saying….holy shit. I’d never heard of Maple Hill until today, but I’m so glad I did. This young, fresh band brings a punch with every song I’ve heard. They give off the best pop-punk/emo vibe, almost like State Champs meets Neck Deep meets Hawthorne Heights, if that makes any sense. Not only are the instrumentals insane, but lead vocalist, Kristian Wood-Gaiger kills it in every song. Each track has such a distinct sound and vibe with it, and the entire album gives you a familiar nostalgic feel. It’s kind of like you’re living through each song’s story yourself.
The first thing I felt when listening to the opening track “Never Enough” was like I was at a local show. I can’t even explain it, but it gives you that intimate feel that makes you wanna be in a small, cramped venue, right up close with the artist. I wanted to dance the entire time I listened. Another thing I absolutely loved was the short bass solo near the end of the song by bassist Joel Beckwith. It had such a funky vibe I couldn’t help but bop my head and move my shoulders.
The fourth track on the album, “Space To Grow”, is incredible. It’s very high-energy and again, just makes you wanna jump around and dance. It also features a group chant (which in my opinion, makes any song awesome) like many other tracks on the album. The guitar in this track blew me away. Lead guitarist, Max Gaeta, really shows off his skills in not only this song, but the entire album.
Next up, one of my favorites, is “Stomping Ground”. This upbeat song is filled with angst and amazing drum beats from St. John Faulkner. This is one of those songs to listen to when you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up. One of my favorite lines is “I’ll be strong in the face of all my demons. I don’t know where I’m going, but that won’t stop me from getting there.” It makes you feel like you can get through any situation or hardship.
Lastly, my definite favorite track on the entire album, “All I Dream About”. As one of the more hard-core songs out of the bunch, you can’t help but want to dance and scream out the lyrics. The instrumentals in this are so fucking good, you can feel em’ in your soul. Yet again, Wood-Gaiger displays exceptional vocals on this song. If you ever only listen to one song by Maple Hill (which is impossible), this would be the one to listen to.
I only touched base on a few tracks, but overall, this album is amazing from start to finish. Each song has a completely different vibe to it, while somehow keeping a familiar feel throughout the album. If you like intense breakdowns, group chants, and angsty pop-punk, this is the album for you. Maple Hill is new to the game, but I have a strong feeling this is just the beginning for this talented group. Headspace will be released February 5th of 2016, so make sure you keep an eye out and get yourself a copy!
Check out the video for Maple Hill’s “Stomping Ground” below!