Review: Mayday Parade – Monsters In The Closet


Cover of "A Lesson in Romantics"

Cover of A Lesson in Romantics


After eight years, one member leaving the band, a baby, and trial and error with their albums, Mayday Parade has finally perfected their craft of making a mixture of powerful ballads and the perfect post breakup tune.  With their constant touring, and the recent release of their fourth album, Monsters In The Closet, it’s bound that you’ve heard a song, if not a chorus, from the group before. With their perfect guitar riffs, insane drums, and Derek Sanders’ angelic voice, (the lead front man for MDP), their songs aren’t anything that you’d forget easily, considering most are fairly catchy.  With this new album, the boys of Mayday Parade are continuing their style of music while exploring outside of their comfort zone.

Monsters in the Closet can only be appreciated in two ways. One being that the majority of the album sounds like a continuation of a previously released MDP record, which can be viewed in a positive or negative light, depending on what kind of a monster you are.


No matter what your opinion is of MDP’s new record, Derek Sanders and the other members of the band deserve mad props for picking up the pieces of the departure of Jason Lancaster, who left in early 2007 after the completion of the first full-length studio album, A Lesson In Romantics. Mayday Parade has finally found who they are as a band without Jason and are now recognized as one of the greatest Punk/Rock bands in the scene.


The group has experimented with new sounds, but there are a few songs that one could considered to be replicated.  For example, ’12 through 13’, track 4 of Monsters in The Closet, closely resembles a song from their previous self-titled album; the all too familiar duet between Sanders and MDP’s drummer, Jake Bundrick. Another example would be found in the song ““The Torment Of Existence Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing” there’s a bright piano playing and light “La-La-La-Da-Da’s” that contradict Sander’s lyrics of broken heartedness.


And of course, it wouldn’t be a Mayday Parade album with out a love-struck ballad with Sanders’ vocals ranging all throughout the song. In the song “Hold On To Me” the listener is mesmerized by the strength in Sander’s voice, truly showing the growth of the font man from Mayday Parade’s last album.


All in all, this album is a great listen, not only for die-hard Mayday Parade fans, but also for those who enjoy the harder side of punk rock. Whether you feel that Mayday Parade has released this album before, or whether the band has made leaps and bounds in improving their work, your opinion is your own. It is clear in the making of the record that these guys absolutely love what they do and they work hard to be able to do it. Monsters In The Closet should be a record that the band and the fans are immensely proud of.




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District XC Meet

This past Saturday, the Skeeter XC team ran in Tyler at the District 12-5A meet.  They represented Mesquite High School very well.

Varsity Girl’s Team 4th overall and just missed qualifying for Regionals.  (Martina Cervantes, Senior; Karen Perez, Freshman; Blanca Aguilar, Senior; Adia Vaughn, Freshman; Lidia Roque, Senior; Nataly Gaytan, Junior; and Alondra Zuniga, Senior).  All ran personal bests.

Varsity Boy’s Team 2nd Place Team and qualified for Regionals this Saturday in Grand Prairie. (3rd Overall Eric Villagrana, Sophomore; Raul Sanchez, Freshman; Joaquin Tinoco, Senior; Alfonso Hernandez, Senior; Celso Ramirez, Freshman; Jesus Salazar, Senior; and Marco Morales, Senior).  The 3 alternates for the Regional team which are moved up from the JV are (Daniel Arroyo, Austin Cuevas, and Luis Flores).

Junior Varsity Girl’s Team 2nd overall (1st Place Alex Martinez, Sophomore; 5th Place Sarah Sanchez, Senior; Samantha Pacheco, Junior; Jessica Gutierrez, Sophomore; Isabel Pena, Freshman; Leslie Salinas, Junior; Esmeralda Cervantes, Sophomore; Breanna Martinez, Senior; Sarahi Osorio, Senior; Ruth Lopez, Junior; Stephanie Beltran, Senior; and Denise Beltran, Sophomore) All ran personal bests

Junior Varsity Boy’s Team 2nd overall (2nd Place Daniel Arroyo, Junior; 3rd Place Austin Cuevas, Freshman; 4th Place Luis Flores, Sophomore; Pedro Secundino, Senior; Roberto Roque, Freshman; Francisco Pacheco, Sophomore; Cesar Rangel, Freshman; Mario Hernandez, Freshman; Davis Abraham, Senior; Adrian Flores, Freshman; Jose Alvarez, Junior; and Eduardo Salinas, Senior.

They have worked very hard this season and have accomplished great things.  I am proud of them and all their accomplishments.  If you see one of the Varsity Boys, wish them good luck this coming weekend as they run at the Regional meet.

Story courtesy of Peter Martin, MHS Head Cross Country/Girls Track Coach

Seeing is Believeing(Part two)

My flashlight speared through the darkness, revealing a hallway to me. There were two doors on my right and one on my left. haunted_house_5_by_fairiegoodmother-d5d3xazA staircase spiraled up to the second floor at the end of the hallway. I opened the first door on my left and shined my flashlight throughout the room. I saw something move from a corner as the light swept through the room and I jerked back to look again. The corner was empty. It was just the light shining on an object as the light moved through. I repeated that sentence over and over again but I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise, like there was someone watching me. I whirled around to face the hallway, hearing a laugh echo around me.
“Who’s there?” I cry out, looking around frantically. Calm down Lily. All you’re doing is freaking yourself out. There was probably a logical explanation for that noise; like the wind moving through the house. It’s old; it probably makes lots of noises. No matter how much I tried to tell myself that the feeling of being watched didn’t decrease. I shut the door I had opened which was a living room with a dining room connected to it and opened the door on my left. It looked like a kitchen, that had an opening and when I shined my light on it, to my surprise it was a washroom. I closed the door and opened the last door on the right. It was a closet. I hurriedly shut the door as the feeling of being watched increased with the door being opened. I reached the end of the hallway and stared up into the dark at the top of the staircase. I tentatively lifted my foot and pressed down on the first step and winced when it creaked. I took a deep breath and cautiously started up the steps, ignoring how much this felt like a death march. As I ascended I glanced up into the darkness. I was so focused on looking forward that I missed the eyes of one picture on the wall following me as I continued upward. I finally reached the top and shined my light into the gloom. Doors lined right and left in the hallway. Most of them were open and I tried not to let the shiver of fear that wanted to go down my back do so. I slowly walked forward, shining my light side to side. I saw my light glance off of something and shine back at me. I turned and looked at it. I almost screamed at the face staring back at me until I realized that it was only my reflection. I let out a nervous laugh and stared at the mirror. Blue eyes framed by long lashes and thick black hair stared back at me. I was about to turn away when I saw a dark figure glide down the hallway behind me. I spun away from the mirror, gasping as I swung my light down the hallway. Nothing. There was nothing there. I let out a shaky breath and continue my way down the hall. Suddenly, a shrieking laugh sounded all around me and I let out a scream, dropping my flashlight. The light went out and I let out a whimper, kneeling and trying to find my only source of security. I was just about to go into full panic mode when a light bloomed in front of me. My head snapped up and I gasped. Staring at me, illuminated by a source of light I couldn’t see was a skeletal face. It smiled at me, teeth missing and leaving only a wide and dark chasm behind. A scream of terror stuck in my throat as I scrambled back on hands and knees.
“My, my. We are lost now aren’t we?” A whispery voice asked, the horrid mouth moving. My eyes were wide and I couldn’t seem to speak. The voice continued.
“Is it correct to say that you don’t believe in ghosts? Hmm Lily?” I wanted to ask how this apparition knew my name but my voice didn’t seem to be working at the moment.
“Well, if ghost are not real then how do you explain me? Or the others?” A pale hand gestured behind me and I slowly turned, the scream that didn’t want to come out before now escaped my throat as white figures filled the hallway. My joints unlocked and I jumped to my feet, bolting down the hallway. A cackling laugh followed me.
“Remember Lily! Seeing is believing!” The voice called out to me as I stumbled down the stairs and towards the door. It was open and I could see Marie standing in the doorway. I had almost made it when the door slammed shut. I started pounding on it, screaming. An evil chuckle sounded behind me.
“Now did you really think you would be able to leave? You see, there is a curse upon this house: All who enter shall never leave.” The voice whispered in my ear and I slowly turned, my eyes growing wide and my mouth opening in a silent scream.

By Vanna Watson

Seeing Is Believeing (A Ghost Story)


“Come on; get serious. Ghosts aren’t real.”
I scoffed, rolling my eyes.
“But they are! And the house down the street really is haunted!” My best friend, Marie insisted. I rolled my eyes again, staring up at said haunted house. A cracked sidewalk led up to the broken and lopsided steps. The dirty and dark windows were impossible to see into and vines crept up the front and sides of the house, reaching spidery fingers to the sky as if seeking escape from the depressing aura that hung around the house. The weeds, left to do what they wanted, reached up to my hips; tall enough to hide the creatures lurking in the overgrowth. The house itself looked like it was beautiful in its day. But now, it served as a story to tell kids at bedtime.
I said, turning away.
“But its true!” Marie insists, running in front of me. I sigh.
“Ghosts aren’t real and I’ll prove it!”

Marie smirks.
“Alright then. I dare you to go into the house tonight.” I gulp and she cocks an eyebrow.
“What’s the matter? Scared?” She taunts.
“Fine!” I exclaim, “I’ll go tonight and when I come out and prove you wrong, you’ll owe me twenty bucks!” She sticks out her hand.
“Deal!” I shake it and can’t help but feel that I made a grave mistake. I took one last look back at the haunted house as we walked back home and I could have sworn I saw a figure standing in the upstairs window. But it was probably just my imagination.
“Mom! I’m home!” I yell as I shut the door behind me.
“In here Lily!” The call comes from the kitchen. I drop my backpack in a chair on the way in. My mother is standing by the stove, stirring a pot. She turns and smiles at me. “I’m making chicken soup for dinner.” She says as I kiss her cheek and turn towards the stairs. “Ok, call me when it’s ready.” I say as I head up to my room.
That night, as I wait for my mom’s nightly getting-ready-for-bed noises to subside so I know it’s safe to sneak out, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread as the time to leave got closer. I can’t explain it but it feels like something in the back of my mind is screaming at me to stay home. Of course, it’s probably nerves, I mean-the house is old; Who knows what could happen. An hour later, I’m up, shoes on and a backpack with a flashlight and rope is slung over my back. I quietly creep down the stairs, avoiding the places that creak and slowly ease my way out the door, shutting it softly behind me. I take off down the street, spotting Marie’s figure standing under the street lamp that sits across from the haunted house. Marie greets me as I get closer and together we cross the street and walk up the creaky steps of the house. I paused in front of the door, staring up at the dark windows that seemed to glare down at me, hiding the inside of the house from my view.
“Well? Are you going in or not? Don’t tell me your chickening out.” I heard Marie say behind me. I turn and glare at her.
“Me? Scared? As if!” I scoff but I can’t help the shiver that flashes down my spine as I turn my gaze back to the house in front of me. I slid my backpack off, bending down and extracting my flashlight from its depths. I take one last look at Marie’s smirking face and my courage hardened. I take a deep breath and open the door, trying not to let the ominous creak it made get to me.
“Remember, you’ll owe me twenty bucks.” I say to Marie without turning and then plunged into the darkness…

Return to the Swarm Press next week to see the conclusion to Lily’s adventure in the haunted house.

Story By Vanna Watson

Animals In The School


When you think of animals loose in the school,you might think of a pet or a hungry raccoon,or maybe  a wild animal. But never a student.

 Therianthropy, Therian for short, is the belief that in your past life you were an animal or that when an animal dies they harvest their soul in your unborn body. Although psychologists believe it is an identity disorder, Therianism is actually a belief that began in Egypt, and it is expressed in Anthropomorphic art. It was also practiced in areas of Africa, where an individual would kill a lion or leopard, wear it’s skin, then kill his or her enemy. They believed that this animal would give them strength.

 In recent years, beginning in 1994, in the mid internet era, Therians have become a practice of living like an animal. A local MHS student, Alex Turner, is one of these Therians. She considers herself a wolf.  Following is an excerpt from an interview about this unusual and strange religious belief.

 Reporter Miranda L. Burrow: What started your belief?

Alex Turner: I don’t know what exactly started my beliefs, but I never felt like just a human. I felt like I was something more, like an animal.

Burrow: How do you know what animal you are?

A.T.:  I’ve always been closer to dogs than any other animal. When I first saw a wolf, I knew that it was my other half. There’s many different ways Therians find their other halves, like meditation, getting along with a certain animal, etc.

Burrow: How did you find your pack?

A.T: I found my pack members online and by my friends that I hang out with. Even though they aren’t all Therians, their like my family and pack is family.

Burrow: Do you believe in mating?

A.T.:  Yes, I believe we have mates, some Therians have already found their mates, some spend years trying to find theirs.

Burrow: What ways do you practice your belief/animal?

A.T.: I yip, howl, growl, bark and sometimes I even give a wolfish purr. I wear a tail to express my animal side and a collar to express when I’m “owned”. I love to be petted and cuddled!

Burrow:  Can someone be any animal even an existent or mythical?

A.T.: Yes, any animal. If its heard of than its most likely a Therian. It can be mythical because it’s still a soul of an animal that has attached itself to a humans body.

 To find out more about this Therian belief check out the youtube video.

By: Kristen Esparza & Miranda Burrow

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