Man Overboard

Real Talk

Written by: DR on 27/09/2010 01:42:24

Hopefully, most of you will immediately recognise the name of this band is taken from a Blink 182 song. So, no prizes for guessing what genre Man Overboard belong in. Pop punk. Obviously. Not only that, but they are defending pop punk, according to their website; whether or not that was intended to be ironic, or they are genuinely tired of how pop bands are often heralded as pop punk, is up to your perception. Personally, I'm banking on the latter.

Their music would also imply the latter. It's out and out pop punk, to the point where I'd be stunned if anyone in the band actually had a fringe! Yes, the lyrics are centred around the fairer sex, and are unashamedly brash in doing so, there's an honest wit about them that doesn't cling to cliches, therefore rendering them absolutely not face-palm-worthy. They are somewhat obviously out of the New Found Glory-school of the genre, given how they maintain an up-tempo beat and generally positive attitude, but they also have a penchant for crafting bright melodies through a heavy chord-heavy approach, which keeps the bands planted firmly in the 'punk' side of things, possibly immediately reminiscent of Transit; however, with ultra-poppy dual-vocals (that's two times the fun!) on top that overlap and interchange so freely, to the point where the vocalists seem to share some brother-like telepathy.

Roaring out of the blocks comes title track "Real Talk", led by Nik and Zac sounding their most aggressive as they swap lines about failed relationships, naturally, setting the theme for the rest of the album: girls. "World Favorite" follows, keeping that particular theme running, but instead with a happy slant, as you may expect when singing about their favourite girls. Although they keep it musically similar throughout, robust and fast etc, Nik and Zac draw on their experiences to be able to sound frustrated or simply joyous as and when required, endowing each song with its own individual character and feeling. Next song "Fantasy Girl" is as pop rock as MO get - I swear I can detect a deliberate yet subtle hint of roboautotune in the unfairly addictive chorus, but it's ok, it sounds awesome.

In the middle things are kept pretty consistent, both in style and quality, "She's Got Her Own Man Now", "Montrose", and "Parting Gift" (this song may be titled "Bruised Up" depending on when you got your copy from) standing out as highlights, featuring strong choruses, tempo changes, and an intricate melodic inclinations. "I Like You", as the title may suggest, is an utterly glorious display of MO at their affectionate best. "Sidekick" is the 'slow' closer (unless you have "Again", the BandCamp bonus track); of course, there's the acoustic guitar, but surprisingly, and I think smartly, subdued below a dreamy electric guitar, group vocals, piano and fairytale-esque electronics, drawing this effort to a closer [*click repeat*].

Your opinion of pop punk as a genre stereotype may affect your opinion of "Real Talk". If you genuinely like the overly-poppy direction it has headed over recent years - and not in a guilty-pleasure kind of way - this album may not be for you. If you feel it has been lacking passion, like that of an exhausted scene, then this could be an important release in 2010 for you. Man Overboard, along with the likes of The Wonder Years, Transit etc and many others, are giving fresh impetus, by doing little other than adding a shit load of heart. Defend pop punk!

8

Download: Real Talk, Fantasy Girl, I Like You, Sidekick
For The Fans of: The Wonder Years, Transit, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday's "Tell All Your Friends"
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 20.07.2010
Run For Cover Records

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