I realize I am talking about a band most of you will call shitty and over rated. For your convenience I have included one sentence paragraph summaries for you short attention spanners.
I like a lot of NFG's other stuff, namely Nothing Gold Can Stay. I can pretty much find something entertaining about all their records, and that is no different with their new release Sticks and Stones, I mean Self Titled, no wait...this one's called Catalyst.
Summary: New Found Glory have put the same record out three times.
When I was 13 or 14 and bought Nothing Gold Can Stay, I was impressed with the bands ability to mesh so many hardcore influences into their straightforward pop music. As most of you know, most of that influence came from one of their members singing for the early and somewhat impressive metal/hardcore outfit Shai Hulud. Either way, throughout Nothing Gold Can Stay there are some great breakdowns (see "3rd and Long") as well as some awesome crew vocals to keep any hardcore fan that's not afraid to listen to pop music entertained.
Summary: Nothing Gold Can Stay is far superior to any of their other records, before or after.
Self Titled is the record that destroyed any outside influence their music had. The recycled single "Hit Or Miss" garnered some radio play and light MTV rotation, and the CD stayed on the Billboard charts for a reasonable amount of time. It was much cleaner, produced, and poppier than anything before it, but it was insanely obvious this was the direction the band was going to go in, and the next record Sticks and Stones only kept this transformation going.
Summary: Their records get worse and worse.
Now we have Catalyst. With MTV play the video for the first single far before the record was out, I was a little weary of what this record would sound like.
The first song, simply titled "Intro" has hardcore kids on messageboards ranting and raving about it's stellar sing along ability. Well, yeah, it's good and completely different than anything else NFG has done before, but I am sort of confused as to why it's on the record. It starts out with some great guitar feedback, and transcends into some awesome crew vocals screaming something I can't understand, but sounds something like "Don't Believe What They Say." Well, alright! The guitars are something that would fit perfectly on any Bridge 9 release, the back up vocals are powerful and catchy, and the singing, well, it is really annoying, just like the rest of the record.
The first single "All Downhill From Here" is mid paced and somewhat catchy, but gets very bothersome after a while, because this is what most of the record sounds like. "This Disaster" is the song I bet would money on being their next single, and just like the latter mentioned song, lacks any speed, or differentiating qualities from the rest of the record.
His voice isn't good, and it's always been that way, but when it's not super produced and ran over with a Mack Truck of Pro Tools 500 times, it's listenable. On the last two or three records, his voice has gotten worse and worse and it's apparent throughout the whole record. If you can get past that, good for you, I have, but it definitely took a long time. What I cannot get past is the lackluster songwriting on this record. Songs like "Truth of My Youth", and "Your Biggest Mistake", stand out from the rest of the record simply because they are not mid tempo, sleep inducing crap, but as a whole this record sucks, a lot.
Summary: This record sucks a lot.
"Intro" is cool but contrived and tacky. There are a few good songs, but as a whole Catalyst is very disappointing. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Self Titled and All About The Girls are all you will need from this band. They really need to re-analyze what they do well, and start doing more of it.
WARNING: As the writer of this review I feel that there is something you should know prior to reading this, as reviews are biased by whoever is writing the review. All that I have heard previous to this album was random songs from the radio, not that I listen to the radio.
So now is my chance to hear a New Found Glory album and give it my full undivided attention instead of just hearing a song in the car on the way to an important business meeting or on the stereo while getting in touch with myself. To be honest, I wanted to like Catalyst, the more music I find that I like the more good music I have to listen to. When the first track started with a vinyl sound I got excited. I like vinyl! A guitar slide...I like guitar slides! Gang vocals...I like gang vocals! To my surprise I was really digging this song. But upon further inspection I realized a few things. First of all, it sounds exactly like "Measure By Measure" by For The Crown, especially the whole first half. In no way am I accusing New Found Glory of stealing it, it's probably purely coincidental. Secondly, reading the lyrics really confused me. They are about how "it" is more than a tattoo, a t-shirt, and a phase. I'm assuming by "it" they are referring to punk/hardcore, but I could very well be wrong. It would be nice if instead of telling us what "it" is more than, they told us what "it" actually was. Is "it" more than doing a tour for Honda Civic? Also, isn't this the same band who has a music video of the singer fixing his hair for long periods of time? Well maybe New Found Glory has grown since those days, and I still have thirteen tracks before me, so before coming to any final conclusions I should hear more.
Similar to running into a glass door, the momentum from "Intro" stops suddenly and is dropped liked the consciousness from your head. Now we get to listen to a mid-paced-powerful-pop-punk-ballad with what could be the worst vocals I've ever heard on something this well recorded. Of course there are garage bands that could pull off worse vocals than this, but this is ridiculous. I would compare the "singing" to the smell that comes off of a pile of shit, but that would be doing it an undeserved favor as shit is a completed process. Well, imagine the visuals of bile mixed with the smell of vegan farts combined with the sound of a ten year old boy singing into his conditioner bottle about losing his girlfriend, that's how I can best describe it. Something that can usually make a bad song good is the use of the "Let's go!" which "All Downhill From Here" has, but the opposite occurs. This is hands down, the worst "Let's go!" I've ever heard. The biggest mistake was when NFG named the second track, "All Downhill From Here" instead of the first. I can see them in the recording studio:
Dude bro 1: Bro...we could totally use a "Let's go!" here. It would intensify our hardcore cred.
Dude bro 2: Yeah, word bro. Wearing BANE shirts and having an ex-member from Shai Hulud is fading fast.
Dude bro 1: Dude-bro...yeah.
My clear perspective I attempted to give this has melted into a fart cloud at this point. "This Disaster" just hit the chorus and my ears are obliterated by bubble-gum-pop smegma. Once again, I must be careful with my word use, because comparing this to the liquids that collect in the skin of an uncircumcised penis would be far too nice, especially with lines such as, "so incomplete your stare is cold unlike anything I've ever seen." Instead, this music is so bad unlike anything I've heard before. God damn, I'm fucking deep. In the time it took me to write that amazing sentence that poked fun at a lyric from their song, half of the album rolled by. I've heard people say this band is great because they're a pop equivalent of hardcore and I'm unsure where this is derived from. The closest thing I see is "breakdown" parts in songs, but that's just goofy. The insertion of gang vocals sound like putting singing over noise, which in my viewpoint, doesn't work out too well. Then in the song "Doubt Full" (clever title guys!) there is even a choir at the end. It's like epic but not at all whatsoever.
I appreciate how NFG tried to break up the monotony of pop punk on this album with the ballad of "Ending In Tragedy", even with an appearance by sleigh bells, and their attempt at doing Designing A Nervous Breakdown era The Anniversary with "Failures Not Flattering". I appreciate how crazy their bassist is and how he's not afraid to showcase it in every picture ever taken of him. I appreciate anybody who sits through this whole album. Let's end this on a positive note, because this has been pretty fucking negi. Instead of wasting your time on New Found Glory, and more specifically Catalyst, listen to Crime In Stereo. They are "pop punk" kind of stuff with hardcore influences and their music/lyrics have substance, a key ingredient that most pop punk bands forget about/ignore. They're also really good. Or even listen to The Movielife, but this is unbearable.
P.S. With a high budget, what's with the crappy cover art?
3.6 / 10
Reviewed by 2 writers.
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