by Scott Gimes
I’m almost certain the first time I had heard New Found Glory was when I stumbled across a CD-R my sister had ‘burned back during that phase of my pre-teens most of us North American kids went through in the early 2000s: where some of us found some kind of twisted-refuge listening to the usual suspects in pop ‘punk’ like Blink 182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte to name a few.
I think it was the song “Dressed to Kill” from their second album eponymously named New Found Glory (2000). There was little to no way I could really identify with the sort of heartache, and angst expressed in a song like that or any of those songs from these kind of bands. I had hardly grazed puberty at best, but the distorted chugging of powerchords require no age for a listener to at least feel something, and the skate-branded black clothing helped create an image some of us wanted to embody at the time.
If I’m honest, this band never really stuck out for me-- even when my ears and front-piece (so to speak) were primed for this sort of music. If anything--at least in Canada-- they were the kind of band you’d reference to someone to sound like you knew what you were talking about when citing other bands that Blink 182 had influenced or something. But the name is just catchy, so it sticks. It’s got the one-one-two syllable thing going on, it’s got new in it, it’s about finding something-- it’s just a glorious name plain and simple.
So anyhow, as I was looking through new releases, this old familiar name popped up with a new album, and I essentially thought I had travelled back in time.
The usual questions set in:
Did they attempt to change their sound?
What do these guys look like in 2017?
What label would release this?
Do people still come to their shows?
--All mostly not so positive questions.
I don’t want to be cruel-- I mean we can all make fun of this genre but without question these particular boys were successful at what they did, and somehow whatever aesthetic we all donned back then has seemingly evolved into a staple of so-called ‘hipster’ culture: the black tight pants, converses etc.
We absolutely can’t credit this genre for those stylings but I think it’s at least to safe to say that the revived that sort of aesthetic in the generation that’s now entering their late-twenties and onward. Maybe that’s not something to be so proud of--or maybe it is, I’ll let you decide.
Ten seconds into the first song and it safe to say they haven’t changed their sound whatsoever.
It’s like a relic in time.
As I said, I don’t want to be mean.
And this music is not for me! It’s for the preteens of the now which you always need to keep in mind..I mean there’s some stuff here that I really want to like. Some of the song titles sound really......rad! For instance: “Party On Apocalypse”
What could this tune be about? Are they getting political (watch out Anti-Flag)?
What are they saying about society today?
Well, maybe this is New Found Glory’s attempt to be somewhat political but this song is unfortunately (but sort of unsurprisingly) is not something I would recommend to a friend--punk rock lover or not. And the video doesn’t help either (imho).
I think they really tried to be bold with this one.
They tried to make some sort of statement about the current state of affairs in the world….I think.
The verse isn’t so bad. There’s some varied guitar and rhythm tones that are sort of box-y to describe their sound, a heavy unlatched snare in the mix too with a fast rhythm..but then the prechorus lyrics stand out like...like....just a fork in the road of time between the preteen I was and the preteen I am no longer:
“If a psycho said this is the end **minor breakdown with only a snare** I’d think I’d believe him.”
At this point I don’t even want to watch the rest of the video much less listen to the rest of the album. I just can’t swallow that line...
But, you gotta take all this with a grain of salt.
Somewhere out there, there’s a kid who is just finding this kind of music, and he’s diving into this new album and checking out New Found Glory’s old discography and all their past press and taking it all in. Maybe he’ll look into the social underpinnings of punks and ‘punk’ music, or maybe this album will send him running to Bieber etc.
Bottom line: maybe this isn’t something a supposed-adult like me should be reviewing.
Keep rocking NFG. I’ll never forget the time we shared back then
I couldn’t finish it/ *****
Scott Gimes is a music lover, and a nostalgia-seeking fool who roams the streets of Toronto