New Found Glory have this incredible way of consistently making music that resonates deeply with me. NFG’s latest effort, Makes Me Sick, is another one of those records. With an 80s vibe sprinkled throughout the album, the band pushes the envelope of pop punk just enough to make me go “what the fuck did I just hear?” (in the best way possible) but all while still making songs that sound familiar, that sound like home. New Found Glory are a band who have found the perfect mix of staying true to themselves, while, at the same time, experimenting with their sound.
The record kicks off with ‘Your Jokes Aren’t Funny Anymore’ , where we first hear the 80s vibe with a little bit of synth appearing in the first seconds of the song. The first time I heard this song, I was immediately able to envision myself driving around the backroads of the Midwest, where I live, windows down, and this track blaring. We move on to ‘Party On Apocalypse’ – the bands second single off of the album. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song about our impending doom written in a way that made me want to dance. Thanks, New Found Glory. ‘Call Me Anti-Social’ gives us more of the 80s vibe that reverberate throughout the album. Plus, there’s an octave change. Who doesn’t love octave changes?
The album continues with the bands first single, Happy Being Miserable. If you haven’t heard this song yet, I don’t know what rock you’re living under, but like… stop doing that and go listen to it. ‘The Sound of Two Voices’ honestly guys… hear me out on this; it sounds like a Disney song. I swear. There’s an island feel that feels like Paramore may have had a hand in writing it, (steel drums on ‘Hard Times’, anyone?). Shout out to our main man, Ian Grushka on bass, for writing an incredible bass line to go along with our island-Disney jam. ‘Blurred Vision’ 100% sounds like it should have been on the bands 2006 album, Coming Home. We have a piano line that is reminiscent of ‘Familiar Landscapes’ , and as to quote my notes from listening to this album for the first time: “YAAAAAS PIANO.”
‘Say It Don’t Spray It’ is the most perfect encapsulation of 20 years of New Found Glory. It perfectly shows off guitarist Chad Gilbert’s ability to write catchy, fun riffs, and not have to be supported by a second guitar. This song also does a fantastic job of replacing a second, lead guitar with something more fun, like; you guessed it, synths. ‘Barbed Wire’ continues with the 80s-synth theme. My favorite part about this track was the metaphor of “barbed wire/two strands twisted to one/razor sharp/no one will ever touch us.” ‘Short and Sweet’ is the low point of the album for me. This whole album captivated me and held my attention span, and this song did the exact opposite. It sounded like the token love song of the album. Moving on to the closing track, ‘The Cheapest Thrill’. This track opens with another exceptional bass line from Grushka, and the catchiest riff of the album from Gilbert. I’m hoping this track goes into the touring set list, and I won’t have to wait 10 years to hear it live.
All in all, New Found Glory have done it again. They’ve written an exceptional album, to add to their discography of other exceptional albums. Like I said earlier, I don’t know how they do it; but this record definitely doesn’t make me sick.