New Found Glory

Makes Me Sick

Written by: PP on 22/08/2017 22:10:11

Should we be worried? "Resurrection" wasn't that good of an album if we're being honest, and the ninth album "Makes Me Sick" carries all the telltale signs of an album that sounds more like a career extension than an inspired pop punk record. After all, until 2011's "Radiosurgery", the latter is exactly how you would categorize New Found Glory albums, save for maybe the pop and piano-driven oddity "Coming Home" from 2006. Yet, it's still a decent album with few faults, which speaks volumes about the songwriting talent Pundik, Gilbert & Co possess even on their bad days. So, let's dig right into it.

On paper, "Makes Me Sick" sounds pretty much like an ideal New Found Glory album. Energetic pop punk songs characterized by bouncy riffs and an overall summery vibe that just feels infectious and cheerful all the way through. Pundik's nasal clean singing stays true to the band's origins, and the upbeat nature of the songs likewise suggests not much has changed from album-to-album.

Once you scratch away the surface, however, the flaws of the album become more apparent. For instance, the lyrical work is a far cry from their glory days. We've all sung our hearts out to the "Hit Or Miss" lyrics of "the needle on my record player has been wearing thin...This record has been playing since the day you've been with him", or to "Forget My Name", "My Friends Over You" and others like them. There aren't really such moments on "Makes Me Sick". For instance, "Call Me Anti-Social" succumbs to just complaining about it being a boring summer: "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". Sure, it's a catchy song but not exactly one that incites a passionate response like on some of their classic material.

The press releases prior to the album's release were promising surprises sound wise, and that's true to some extent. There are some new ideas on the record, like the Hawaiian themed beach song "The Sound Of Two Voices", and the increased use of synth melodies in the background in general. Otherwise, the band rely on their tried and tested formula of high-energy pop punk with summery vibes all-around, and it's good enough!

But having been a fan of the band since their debut album "Nothing Gold Can Stay", what I miss is the youthful spirit and captivating lyricism of the older material, and the small twists in songwriting, whether a quirky vocal melody or a guitar line that caught your attention back then. "Happy Being Miserable" and "Barbed Wire" are catchy pop punk tracks as such; well-produced and well-oiled like a machine, but that's part of the problem. NFG on autopilot? Some of the album sounds exactly like that, so it's a good thing the band's songwriting is as good as it is to drive the album home safe and sound, albeit without much flair or spectacular moments to write home about.

7

Download: The Cheapest Thrill, Party On Apocalypse, Barbed Wire
For the fans of: Fireworks, Veara, State Champs
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Release date 28.04.2017
Hopeless Records

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