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Album Review: New Found Glory – Resurrection

3 min read

New Found Glory just can’t stop. For almost 20 years now, the punk-rock band have been powering onwards and upwards – recording eight albums, two EPs, three cover albums and one live album throughout their lengthy career. You’d think that by now, they’d want to call it a day – but to the delight of hardcore fans, they’ve released their eighth studio album Resurrection this month. If you think these guys are getting old then think again, because the aptly titled album is here to indicate otherwise: the rebirth of pop-punk.

New Found Glory ResurrectionTiming couldn’t have been better, because things haven’t been easy for the band lately. The boys had to let go of their founding guitarist Steve Klein, resulting in the group’s transformation to a four-man band. You could never tell, though – from the outset, you can hear that their latest album is extremely reliant on guitar riffs. Selfless, for example, kicks off with an extended guitar intro that drags on for almost a minute long. It’s as if the boys are trying to prove something – that they’re doing fine, better in fact, without the fifth guitarist. Even after 17 years in the business, lead singer Jordan Pundik still sounds as boyish as ever. Clichéd as it is, it’s not pop-punk without carpe-diem-themed lyrics like ‘live everyday like it’s my last’ and ‘I can catch up on my sleep when I die.’ There’s also plenty of songs for us to point our middle fingers high – take Resurrection, the number-one ‘screw you’ song on the album. It’s all heavy guitars and crashing drums, with a whole lot of gusto from Pundik. The added screamo by Scott Vogel (from the band Terror) is the cherry on top, giving that extra kick to what would’ve become a seemingly repetitive track.

And to all the pissed off punk rockers, The Worst Person is another track to vent your spleen to. ‘You might be the worst person I’ve ever met’, Pundik spits, his vocals laced with a mean edge. You may notice that this album certainly comes off as more aggressive – it’s miles away from the poppier vibes displayed in their older work. Save for the light and catchy Ready and Willing, New Found Glory have really committed to recording tracks that satisfy themselves as a band. Sometimes it’s not all about the fans – but they certainly won’t be complaining. The band’s trademark clever lyrics are laced throughout the album; Vicious Love, for example, is both amusing and angsty at the same time. Pundik displays his resentment of loved up couples, only indicating a hint of jealousy that he’s ‘wishing it was us.’ Love does suck sometimes, and there’s no better way to express this than through an emotive, aggressive head-banger. Every song is packed with energy and raw sound, so that when the time comes to perform this album live, both the band and audience will be going nuts.

It can’t be overlooked that almost all the tracks have a guitar riff intro of some sort; save for Stories of a Different Kind, an edgy number that launches straight into it. They could benefit with more tracks like this – while the slashing-riff-intro is a safe formula, it quickly begins to run dry with the audience. What saves them from total predictability is simply the nature of the songs themselves – whether it be a musical or lyrical element. New Found Glory are well known for experimenting with their sound in previous albums (remember the ‘old school’ punk in Radiosurgery?), and the songs in their current album go a long way in showing their maturity as a band. Most of the tracks have a defiant feel to them – they like to challenge people and particularly, the status quo. ‘What makes you think you’re better than everyone else?’ Pundik roars in Angel. While the grungy bass veers away from their usual pop-punk formula, it’s a move that works: we’re presented with a stripped back verse that showcases the band in its raw spotlight.

New Found Glory gone darker and personal with this album, all while bringing back classic pop-punk. It’s not to be confused with the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer – this stuff is edgier and sharper, both musically and lyrically. And who said pop-punk was dead?