With this being their 20th anniversary being a band, Florida based pop punk band New Found Glory has released their ninth studio album called Makes Me Sick. Released on the label Hopeless Records, the album was produced by Aaron Sprinkle, who is best known for producing other pop punk bands like Every Avenue and MxPx.
And with it being their 20th anniversary, you wouldn’t be surprised if the new album was filled with the same sounds and style from the past, but that not the case. With new elements added like synths and reverb, over their known sound, it really adds to an pretty solid and fun album.
We start with the song “Your Jokes Aren’t Funny“, with its nice heavy reverbed guitar that leads into a really simple but catchy lead line using synth element mix with guitar and is an really enjoy to hear. with a really catchy chorus with the words “Your jokes aren’t funny anymore to me I’m not the same fool that I used to be” and nice solo in the bridge, it’s a good start to the album.
This leads to “Party On Apocalypse” which has a classic New Found Glory guitar riff with a really groovy bassline in the verses that can be heard throughout the album. But with another really catchy chorus and the message hitting home about the culture we have today with people showing our lives online and not living.
This can be shown in the first couple of lines in the second verse, “This self-centered generation taking pictures Of themselves then changing features / Pleasing over critical creatures“.
This message is stated a bit more in “Call Me Anti Social“, with its nice synth lead in the intro that works well with the style of New Found Glory, and the chorus line, “I’m trapped in another boring summer While everyone is living it up“, with it being stuck in your head, it’s one of the stands out of this album.
“Happy Being Miserable” is a good track which features a catchy line and riff throughout the song, and with one of the best memorable line in the chorus, “I want the best for you But you’re happy being miserable“.
We also get New Found Glory going left field on this album, with the song “The Sound Of Two Voices“. The song has a reggae feel to it, a catchy bassline and really pop chorus, it not a bad track, but it doesn’t work with the style of the album and really stands out but not in a good way.
“Blurred Version” goes back to the regular album sound, but is more relaxed for the band with a nice synth intro that leads to a U2-style piano lead that is nice and calming, and is perfect for what the band is trying to do here. The guitar tone is nice and with an cool solo in the bridge.
The album goes back to classic New Found Glory with “Say It Don’t Spray It” with solo power chord intro and Jordan Pundik’s vocal really sticking in your head, with the simple lead line definitely a highlight. With lines such as “You’re speaking the loudest / But you’ll fall the hardest ‘Cause you know you’re just flesh and blood“, how can you not like it.
While really nice guitar lead with synths in the background return in “Barbed Wire” which work well, the band slow it down with “Short & Sweet” with a cool guitar lead that would be great live. The album concludes with “The Cheapest Thrill” which highlights a groove bassline yet again by Ian Grushka which can’t be understated.
The track is simple but catchy which is the type of bassline I love, and with Jordan Pundik vocals repeating “Cheapest Thrill” over and over with the power chord guitar riffs, it’s a great way to end the album.
For their 20th anniversary album, Makes Me Sick is a pretty solid album with everything you love about New Found Glory, with great riffs and manly lines and just the fun parts and it’s a joy to listen to. But they tried new things like adding synths which really do add to the songs.
However, being an fun album overall, it doesn’t stand out against their other releases. If you’re a long time fan of the band, you will like this album but in the long run, it doesn’t bring anything markedly new or surprising to the table. The standout tracks for me are “Party On Apocalypse”, “Call Me Anti Social”, and “Happy Being Miserable”. You should definitely check out the entire album if you’re a fan of pop punk music in general.
New Found Glory’s Makes Me Sick is out now, purchase it on iTunes here.
Words by Stuart Irvine