When I first called 2011 “The Year that Pop Punk Strikes Back!” this past February, there were some people that threw up a middle finger in my general direction. Most embraced the possibility. Here we are in the last quarter of the year, and you can either call me right – call yourself deaf and blind – or just say that Pop Punk never went away. Regardless, NEW FOUND GLORY is one of the genre’s most reliable battle squads, and having an entry from the Florida rockers in the year is indeed the topping on an already-overloaded sundae.
Following just a week behind a new album from BLINK-182, NEW FOUND GLORY forgoes the genre-bending experimentation of their peers by getting back to basics on a record that delivers on the toe-tapping, melodic punk that fans have been craving.
Right out of the gate, the title track and album opener Radiosurgery sets the tone for the next 33 minutes. The pop hooks are masterful as the band thunders into Anthem for the Unwanted and Drill It In My Brain. Topically, NFG sticks with the young girls and broken hearts, and that’s what works here. Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing and Caught in the Act (feat Bethany Cosentino) are two tracks that actually make you wish that this album had a summer release date rather than being placed in the month of falling leaves and Halloween. Staying strong well into it’s last act, I’ll be damned if Memories and Battle Scars doesn’t just suck you right back into memories of Warped Tours past.
It’ll be a decade next year since STICKS & STONES came out, and while the thought of an anniversary might make you feel old, a little RADIOSURGERY can certainly restore some of that youthful feeling.
Rating: 4/5 Stars