Reviews New Found Glory Tip of the Iceberg

New Found Glory

Tip of the Iceberg

Temporarily free agents of the scene, New Found Glory found themselves in a position few established bands have. They could record whatever they wanted whenever they wanted and have it released by whoever would. Other acts with multi-albums contracts often have a two-year time window for their next album with a marketing representative hassling the band for a hit making artistic freedom absent. So what did the California by way of Coral Springs, FL band do?

They chose to release an EP with the moderately sized hardcore label Bridge Nine Records. A rookie fan might find this to be uncharacteristic for the band’s sound (That is if they care at all. Believe it not some people are only concerned about the music!), but it isn’t. While New Found Glory has always embraced pop sensibilities, they grew out the Florida hardcore scene of the mid-nineties. Guitarist Chad Gilbert’s former band Shai Hulud shaped the heaviness of their guitar sound while the New York hardcore bands Sick of it All and Madball influenced the bounciness in rhythm along with many pop acts of the time. This, in effect, made them a gateway band in both directions; more poppy fans (like myself at the time) could be turned on something tougher, while all the moshers could have something to enjoy with their girlfriends. They were a crossover band that bridged a gap the same way bands like Fireworks and Set Your Goals (who have a clear NFG influence) are bridging gaps today.

New Found Glory re-examines their roots on this Tip of the Iceberg, writing songs with an even greater hardcore bend than anything written before. For the seasoned listener imagine the opener from Catalyst, which bears an uncanny resemblance to “Please Die” by American Nightmare. But the new New Found Glory pushes hardcore history back a little further with songs that call to mind Fat Wreck-era Sick of it All and later Snapcase. The songs are thicker than New Found Glory’s usual catalog of songs thanks to frequent palm muting and quasi-breakdowns perfect for pitting. The songs are slighter faster than mid-tempo but rely more on a groove, a style popularized by the two aforementioned groups. Lyrically this is nothing new for the bands. Songs about girls and relationships with lyrics comprised of some interesting turns of phrase but also heavy use of clichéd terms.

The second half of the EP is a collection of covers that serve as a short survey course detailing the transition of straight up hardcore into something with melody, brining the listener to the time when New Found Glory entered the scene. Starting off is “No Reason Why” by the Gorilla Biscuits, my favorite song by the most light-hearted of the ‘88 straightedge-era bands. The music is spot on, as it is with all the covers, but the vocals are held back. When Gorilla Biscuit vocalist Civ recorded these songs he was sixteen and full of angst, making his voice crack as he screams “NO REASON WHY” at the beginning of the chorus. Being close to, if not in his thirties Jordan Pundik’s voice has reached maturity leaving us with a nasally whine more than a scream at this point in the song. Still a strong cover reminding me of the time in ninth grade when I bought the self-titled seven inch from Hot Topic thinking it would sound like Operation Ivy because they both had cartoons on the cover. Having never heard this song by Shelter I cannot say anything other than it’s a nice choice to show the way hardcore moved out of the late eighties and into the nineties. Which brings us to the Lifetime cover. “Cut the Tension” came out in 1997, which was around the time when New Found Glory started as a band. This is a perfect cover. If you’ve heard it you’ll agree. If you haven’t, you’ll wonder why never have.

Clearly waning in popularity, perhaps this is a sign that NFG is caring less about popularity and putting and emphasis on writing songs that they both enjoy playing and enjoyed listening to in their early years. I hope this is just the Tip of the Iceberg of things to come.

8.3 / 10Scottie
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8.3 / 10

8.3 / 10

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