The stigma that pop punk is dead or is dying feels like an overly long, drawn out joke at this point. It’s been stated continuously for years and yet, it seems as if every year, the genre not only has a new band arise that shows the genre is full of life, the acts who defined the modern-day sound are still going strong. After all, the proof is there as acts like Blink-182 and Sum 41 have resurrected their careers with solid outings and new, headlining tours, showing that they still have what made them special so many years ago. Florida’s New Found Glory is another act that lest not be forgotten as they cross the 20-year threshold of being a band and throughout their career have found a way to not only stay relevant, but come back to their signature sound that put them on the map. As they’re now set to release their 9th studio album, Makes Me Sick on Hopeless Records, the notion that pop punk is dying in this day and age can surely be put to rest.
Makes Me Sick is the total, quirky package that a vast majority of pop punk tends to offer its listeners; from the odd, stranded island cartoon that graces the album cover to the over the top, yet straight to the point title tracks, this is an album that covers the basis of the genre. That’s simply the surface though as the sound New Found Glory brings forth is a sound that’s more rooted in who they were during the beginnings of their career compared to where they’ve ended up in the past decade. It’s a fun, energetic and poppy sound that is polished and well-produced, which should be expected as the band opted to work with Aaron Sprinkle (MxPx, Anberlin, Acceptance). At the same time, perhaps this is where not only the band, but the album itself falters as the sound comes across very formulaic, with a lack of a true lasting appeal to a vast majority of the ten tracks that make up the album. Couple that with the fact that the album doesn’t really strive towards including any of the newer trends the pop punk genre has seen incorporated over the past few years, there’s a very retreaded feeling here.
Official music video for New Found Glory’s new single “Party On Apocalypse” off their new album ‘Makes Me Sick’ – out now on Hopeless Records! ► Download, stream or buy “Party On Apocalypse” and the rest of Makes Me Sick now!
Even when you take into account its formulaic and rather expected nature, New Found Glory show that they still know what it requires to make catchy tunes that excite themselves and listeners and that’s where Makes Me Sick finds its stride. It’s pretty much immediately noticeable too as the two singles, “Party on Apocalypse” and “Happy Being Miserable” are true testaments to their songwriting capabilities with their infectious nature that demand plenty of replays. Taking the songwriting a step further, there’s a few surprise elements on Makes Me Sick that people wouldn’t correlate to New Found Glory. That is through the inclusion of synths on tracks like “Barbed Wire” and “The Cheapest Thrill” or the more tropical vibes that go hand in hand with the album art on “The Sound of Two Voices”. It’s these additional pieces that help add a new layer to the band and show that they can move beyond the complete stagnation of their previous outings while still retaining the tried and true sound they’ve become known for.
Throughout their twenty years as a band, New Found Glory have never been ones to shy away from the sound that put them on the map. In some people’s eyes, this would be their inevitable downfall, but it’s never been clearer that 9 albums deep, these guys make the music they enjoy and want to make. Makes Me Sick shows some slight hints at breaking away from the same old sound as they utilize some new elements and take different approaches, but it truly lacks in overall staying power falling short of being anything more than just another pop punk record.