New Found Glory returns with their ninth studio album “Makes Me Sick” out April 28th via Hopeless Records
One of my most anticipated releases of 2017, my home town heroes hit another one out of the damn park with ninth album Makes Me Sick, which is due April 28th via Hopeless Records. Luckily for me, I was allowed the privilege of getting my hands in it a bit early so lets take a listen and see how the godfathers of the genre have prepared to defend pop punk.
It comes as no surprise that the record begins in the fun soaked fashion that NFG has staked their career on. Removing all bias though, “Your Jokes Aren’t Funny,” lets you know immediately that this album is going to be a certified banger through and through. It is upbeat, catchy and overall a fun way to welcome you to Makes Me Sick.
The fun doesn’t stop with the opener as “Party On The Apocalypse,” reminds us immediately why NFG has had a 20+ year reign over the kingdom of pop-punk. It is easy to start feeling the urge to find a bunch of friends and blast this song in classic pop-punk pool party fashion, jumping around like its the end if the world. You can tell that these guys certainly had fun writing these songs, it exudes out of every lyric, lick and hook, it comes from them naturally and is just as much a part of them as they are to it.
Making minor changes, “Call Me Anti-Social,” invites an 80s inspired sound with the moving basslines underneath the more pronounced synth sounds but what makes this song is the ever so relevant lyrics from Jordan:
“I’m trapped in another boring summer
While everyone is living it up
But it’s way too hot to go outside
When I don’t relate to anyone”
The remnants of a teen angst that never goes away but steeps into a nostalgic sound that transports you back to your youth effortlessly. I feel as if this is a perfect example of why New Found Glory has been on top of the mountain for over two decades.
Coming up on the first single we heard, “Happy Being Miserable,” we get a clinic on how to construct the perfect radio hit. Pairing honest lyrics with tight harmonies that sit atop super catchy rhythms, I am reminded of one of my favorite albums, Catalyst in the way the song just perfectly captures the identity of NFG without sounding like a retread of a previous effort.
“The Sound of Two Voices,” is a huge left turn in the album; a short detour from their punk roots. Creating a more surfy sound the group uses a vastly different approach to this gem of a song. There is less of a focus on guitars and a heavier emphasis on bass and a more unconventional percussive element that shows you the experimentation of the quartet instead of just staying in their comfort zone. However, Jordan still manages to squeeze some wonderful quips in there, like this one:
“You think you’re inspiring, posting slogans on a photo of a sky”
Not sure who he is talking about, but I’m sure glad it isn’tme because he got them good.
With a synth crescendo and large indie rock intro, “Blurred Vision” opens up to the NFG style ballad; upbeat but wonderfully swaying. The foot tapping tempo also keeps the head bobbin simultaneously through the low-key verses, achieved by the incorporation of the cleaned up chordsthat lead into the more driven power chords of the chorus. Sometimes though, you just have to give it up to Pundik with his lyrics because despite being happily married for a fairly long time, he can still find those heart strings to pluck that harken back to our own youths.
Closing out with “The Cheapest Thrill,” once again I am reminded of that classic 80s new wave sound. Very reminiscent of something that could have grown out of The Cure, this is one of my favorites in the album for sure. Just another fun, powerhouse of a song that continues to prove how in sync NFG is with each other and with their own sound.
Throughout Makes Me Sick you can see the pieces of NFG that are mainstays of their sound and you can see their efforts at maintaining relevance in the changing music industry. The use of synth and wah sounds fits right in with the trends of current pop music, but where NFG succeeds is that they didn’t ditch their tried and true sound for marketability. Instead they use just enough of this years flavors to show all these overusing offenders how to tastefully incorporate 2017’s “chopped mystery ingredients” without overtaking their identity. There is plenty of lyrical grittiness, fun lead riffs, chiming synths and forward motion to just let “Makes Me Sick,” carry you through 2017 in a [new found] glorious fashion.