Having been in the game for over 20 years, it’s safe to say that as a band, New Found Glory are older than a small, but sizeable, portion of their fanbase. Now, there’s clearly a reason for their tenure; as well as being the pioneers of the pop-punk movement at the turn of the millennium, they’re also genuinely great musicians who make catchy tunes.
At this point in their career though, you do start to wonder if they’re making new music out of a labour of love, or because of a contractual obligation. They aren’t getting any younger, and it’s hard to imagine a bunch of guys in their mid-forties playing and writing pop-punk songs. On the other hand, New Found Glory have always had an air of maturity to them, and they’re not exactly singing about fart jokes and pizza like a certain few they share the genre with. *cough* Bowling For Soup *cough*
So, with album number nine ‘Makes Me Sick’, New Found Glory have two musical directions to take: try something bold new and exciting, or stick to what you know and give the fans what they want. They’ve gone with the latter and made a standard, run of the mill, New Found Glory album.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. They’re good at what they do, and the album sounds pleasant, quite excellent in some places, but as a whole it’s nothing new and most tracks will be listened to by the die-hard fans only.
Highlights, however, do include the infectious opening of ‘Barbed Wire’, which features some truly gorgeous riffs and a classic, scream-your-lungs-out chorus. Then there’s ‘Short And Sweet’, which is the song for the couples. You know, the romantic pleasantries along the lines of ‘Hold My Hand’ or ‘Too Good To Be’ from album of yesteryears.
There’s something new to be found in the cool island-esque number ‘The Sound Of Two Voices’, which is exactly the kind of track that you’d expect to hear on an album with a gramophone and palm trees on the cover. It surprisingly suits Jordan Pundik‘s voice, and it turns into a small little gamble that paid off. If only they took more chances like this across ‘Makes Me Sick’ instead of playing it just that bit too safe.
From a music critic’s point of view, this album really has quite an annoying title. I was all geared up to make jokes about being bed-ridden over how atrocious this release was, but alas, it was infuriatingly okay. All those jokes, puns, and witty similes wasted. Bah! Makes me sick.
Written by Andy Roberts (@sassensquatch)