Spraynard - Mable (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Mable (2015)

Jade Tree

Mable begins with a battle cry for the marginalized and the unnoticed: “I am every person you have ever ignored. I am the flaming bag of dog shit on your porch.” With that Palahniuk-esque start, Spraynard are back as the uplifting pop-punk everymen that speak for underdogs everywhere. Sure, this release was preceded by the teaser 7” Bench. But Spraynard’s new album, named after their recently deceased mascot of sorts, fully marks the entrance of new phase for the trio: a new bassist, newfound energy, and a signing to the illustrious Jade Tree.

If you’re a fan of Spraynard’s earlier records, then you know what this one sounds like. The band does little to change its format of upbeat pop-punk with fast-strummed open chords, occasional noodling lead lines, crunchy bass, and fidgety and relentless drumming. Vocalist Pat Graham still sings like if Tom Delonge ever gave a shit (drummer Patrick Ware’s accompanying vocals still have the same Blink vocal tics). But Mable is more complete, more engaging, and better than anything the band has released before. A bigger budget on Jade Tree has put a polish on this recording, and it suits the band's melodic sound well.

Mable carries a strong message of positivity and community. There’s the feminism, anti-homophobia, mental health issue awareness, and the “we’re all in this together” attitude that are all trademarks of the band. But more so than before, the lyrical focus is on the growth of the individual. A lot of the lyrics read like a note to self, grounded in reality, pleading to get out and live. “Pond”, a standout track, showcases the band’s strengths of honest realism and positive idealism. In an early verse, the lyrics are “I hate my own body, but I am fucking lazy. I sit here wanting change but just keep doing the same damn thing.” Then, moments later in the chorus, the lyrics ask, “What’s the use in trying to survive if we don’t do what makes us feel alive?” It’s this dichotomy of honesty and romantic optimism that make this such a heartening album and separates Spraynard from the pack.

Spraynard are the sort of band you can’t help rooting for. They seem like the type of guys we'd all hang out with. They're funny dudes (their name is an obscure Tim and Eric reference) singing about positive change, in the community and self. Though all of their releases are strong, Mable is the band’s pop punk chef-d'oeuvre. Spraynard’s had a positive impact on many lives. This album will surely increase the reach of that impact.