New Found Glory

Forever + Ever x Infinity

Written by: PP on 06/11/2020 10:24:52

Pop punk institution New Found Glory returned earlier this year with a follow up to 2017's "Makes Me Sick", still singing about girls and falling in love in the same high-energy fashion as ever before. Yes, "Forever + Ever x Infinity" is a Bad Religion fan's record in the sense that it stubbornly refuses to evolve or stray away from their core sound, resulting in an album that's exactly what longtime NFG fans want out of the band, especially since its a throwback to their early 2000s sound. It delivers this promise on all fronts: catchy sing-along choruses, bouncy guitars guaranteed to turn live venues into trampolines, and enough energy to let the circle pits revolve and allow punk fans to have a soft spot for the band.

Speaking of the latter, there's enough evidence here to suggest "Forever..." is the crunchiest and heaviest NFG album since "Not Without A Fight" in 2009. The guitars are raw and distorted, and the production value created by new producer Steve Evetts has been left rough-around-the-edges to allow through an unusually punk-laden soundscape that had been ironed out by polish on records like "Makes Me Sick" and "Resurrection". "Do You Want To Settle Down", for instance, is a punk-fueled, high-energy anthem with hardcore sequences that recall their hardcore side project International Superheroes of Hardcore. Album highlight "Trophy" is likewise a fast-paced charger with an infectiously catchy chorus, so if this one doesn't get your feet tapping and your lips moving, then you're in the wrong genre, buddy. And what about "Himalaya"? Its in-your-face delivery and breakneck speed pace takes you all the way back to their debut album, while also borrowing heavily from easycore-esque crunch-and-punch style chorus melodies, before throwing in hardcore yelps and barks in the process!

Then, on the opposite end of the realm, you have classic NFG style pop punk hit songs like "The Way You Deserve" or "Scarier Than Jasen Vorhees At A Campfire" that rely on the tried-and-tested summery pop punk anthem formula that NFG delivers in brilliant fashion. "Birthday Song But Not Really" likewise is upbeat and fun, yet it avoids going down the overpolished path of bands like The Maine or Hit The Lights much like the rest of the album. It highlights a desire to go back to the roots, echoing soundscapes of records like "New Found Glory" and "Sticks & Stones". True, we're not quite in the lo-fi wonder-world of "Nothing Gold Can Stay", but stylistically we're at least in the same direction, which is absolutely the right way to go if you're New Found Glory at this stage in their career: endear your oldest fans, and remind a new generation of potential fans what made you pop punk elite in the first place. As the band themselves inadvertently highlight on "Greatest of All Time": "I think we are what we've been waiting for...".

Yes, there are balladic tracks like "Slipping Away" as well, but these are wonderfully executed and feel less cheesy and forced than many other bands. It finishes in a back-chillingly accurate, anthemic sing-along about one of the harshest truths out there:

"Kid you've done all you can do. You can't make someone love you, who doesn't want to. Know there's nothing you can say to make them stay, they'll find you, someone that wants to, and they won't slip away"

This kind of passage is exactly what has always made New Found Glory so relatable, so catchy, and so popular among the pop punk crowd. That they've also (re-)fallen head-over-heels for punk rock ideals on this album is a massive bonus, especially since Jordan Pundik still sounds as fresh and spirited as he did two decades ago. Just have a listen to songs like "Double Chin for The Win" or "Stay Awhile" for good examples. Are his lyrics as brindled with youthful naivety that made them so charming and relatable on the first couple of albums? Maybe not, but it's pretty close. How many bands do you know who can deliver this solid of an album so late in their career? The best NFG record since "Not Without A Fight" and maybe even since "Sticks And Stones"? Hell yes, this record has elevated the band back into pop punk royalty. Don't miss out.

Download: Trophy, Slipping Away, Do You Want To Settle Down, Greatest Of All Time, Double Chin For The Win, Stay Awhile, Same Side Sitters
For the fans of: Blink 182, Veara, Fireworks, Set Your Goals
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.06.2020
Hopeless Records

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