After their deluxe release of “Makes Me Sick” entitled “Makes Me Sick Again” released in 2018, alongside their cover album that was released in 2019, fans were itching for new tunes by New Found Glory. Thus, when there was word that the band was releasing new music- the scene went crazy. Let’s dive in and see if this record was worth the wait. From the jump, it was apparent that the band was rocking their original, if it’s not broke- don’t fix it, point of view, and it works. Throughout the work, it is heard that the band is driving on the heart of pop punk nuances: edgy articulation, major uses of contrast from vocals to instrumentals, instrumental breakdowns, and strategic placement of silence and sound in relation to the lyrical lines. The band exemplifies that through their New Found Glory lens. It is notable that the band is toying with some new wave electronics, but the occurrence of these moments is slim, and they really just enhance the organic nature of the record. The most striking portion of this album are the instrumentals. When one sits to listen to this work, it automatically places you in a mental Warped Tour, where one can just get down and rock out, and that’s hard to achieve on an audio release. The lyrics that are present on the record are very relatable among the masses- love, heartbreak, emotions: things of that nature. That notion will help the album feel more relatable, but the melodies are not complex; rather, they are simple, catchy- again, very on brand for New Found Glory. Overall, I am giving this record a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The instrumentals on this album take the cake- they are phenomenal and make the selections memorable; however, the other facets of the record feel supplemental, and when listening to the entire work from front to back, it feels as if something is missing.
“Himalaya”, “Same Side Sitters”, and “Trophy”
As one listens to the album, it is apparent that the band is driving on a traditional pop punk sound from the front to the back. Although each selection drives with the same intent, there are a few that stick out upon an initial listen, and these are those tracks. These works stick out, for they are the selections where the band is digging in a little bit more. These musical moments provide listeners with over-the-top instrumentals, relatable lyrics, and catchy melodies that will keep them wanting more. Therefore, I would give the whole record a spin, but if you just want an introduction: start here.
When first glancing at the album artwork, it is striking, for the fluorescent colors pop out at you because that is something a little different for the New Found Glory aesthetic. The image depicts a carnival scene, where people are riding what appears to be a Ferris wheel at night time (there is one cart that has only one visible person in it), and they finish it off with their stamped band logo. When looking towards the music that falls on the inside and its connection to the cover art, I have to admit, it’s a bit of a stretch, for on the surface- there isn’t a clear connection. A lot of the tracks located on the record talk about heartbreak, emotions, and reflection of those events. Therefore, I would say the connection lies in the ominous reflection process one may go through when riding a Ferris wheel alone: especially when every cart around you is filled with couples. The contrast from the fluorescents to the night scene may defend that people are more likely to dive deeper into a more reflective state at that time of day with those circumstances at hand. As I mentioned, the connection between the two is a bit of a stretch; thus, I wouldn’t say that hurts the overall album, but it doesn’t heighten it either.
*”Forever and Ever x Infinity” was released on June 19th, 2020 through Hopeless Records.