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New Found Glory - Coming Home

New Found Glory, Coming Home

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE fifth studio album from American pop-punk outfit New Found Glory is, by the band’s own admission, something of a departure.

Guitarist Chad Gilbert declares it to be “the one that will stand the test of time”, while drummer Jordan Pundik declares it to be driven by relationships rather than any pre-determined need to throw one fast punk song after another.

Indeed, Coming Home displays an altogether softer side to the band, driven by the band’s own happiness while writing it in a house together in Malibu (as opposed to laying tracks down while on the road as normal).

Explains Gilbert: “We asked each other, ‘who is New Found Glory, realistically? Well, New Found Glory is a band that people enjoy listening to not because we give off this harsh, serious message. We’re gonna sing about who we are and what effects us in life and those are our relationships.

“Whether that sounds selfish or whatever, punk rock is doing what you wanna do and not what you feel like you have to do. So it was almost easy to write because everything is real. It wasn’t sitting around trying to put a twist on everything. It’s an honest record that everyone kind of needs right now.”

Hence, while many punk-rock bands bemoan the state of the world, their own country and the perceived ineptitude of our political leaders, New Found Glory have contented themselves with offering a brighter alternative.

The result is an utterly engaging album that probably rates as their most commercially accessible to date – these are songs that celebrate love and life, that radiate positivity and that seem destined to provide many an accompaniment to film or TV soundtracks.

Gilbert’s guitars are crisp, lively and fresh (very rarely sounding punk), while the vocal melodies are strong enough to have everyone singing along at some point.

Take the feel-good romp that’s Too Good To Be, which declares that “you have my heart in your hands, don’t let it go” for example. It’s vibrant in every sense, boasting some gloriously breezy guitar riffs and some fine vocal layering, with almost hand-clapping beats.

The low-key Make Your Move drops some beautifully cascading riffs, while offering the sort of chorus that The Fountains of Wayne might like to call their own if they were to veer into pop-punk territory.

The chiming piano chords that open It’s Not Your Fault give way into an effortlessly inspiring song about young love that unfolds into a majestic chorus, while opening salvo Oxygen is a sparkling song about not being able to breathe without that special person (“you’re my oxygen”).

Some of the lyrics certainly veer into cheesy territory and could sound sappy when read apart from the instrumentation but the music still packs a punch that marks it out from the lightweight material of bands like McFly. And while the occasional effort feels a little lazy and formulaic, New Found Glory mostly manage to combine the giddy punk-rock enthusiasm of early Blink-182 with something a little more heavy thrown in, not to mention the odd skyscraping riff a la Angels & Airwaves.

Coming Home is therefore the sound of a band at ease with itself, which is not afraid to spread that sense of calm and enjoyment to the masses. It makes a refreshing change from some of the more formulaic punk records of the moment.

Track listing:

  1. Oxygen
  2. Hold My Hand
  3. It’s Not Your Fault
  4. On My Mind
  5. Coming Home
  6. Make Your Move
  7. Taken Back By You
  8. Too Good To Be
  9. Love And Pain
  10. Familiar Landscapes
  11. When I Die
  12. Connected
  13. Boulders
  14. Make It Right
  15. Golden