For a band as quintessentially pop-punk as New Found Glory, they’ve found a way to translate that teenage angst and easycore pop-goodness they do so well, into the emotionally vulnerable, and entirely acoustic, EP, Make The Most Of It. The collection, consisting of seven acoustic-based originals and seven of their most well-known songs performed live and acoustic, comes out January 20th on the hardcore-focused Revelation Records.
DECEMBER 2021. NFG had just finished up the Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour in support of their tenth album, Forever + Ever x Infinity. While two months into enjoying their well-earned time off the road, longtime guitarist Chad Gilbert was found unresponsive in his bed. After being rushed to the hospital, he was diagnosed with an 8-inch cancerous tumor, which required surgery and a great deal of recovery.
“I didn’t want this to be the ‘cancer record’ originally. But when we went on tour and people started hearing the story and connecting to it, I gave up on trying to control the narrative. Not all bands are dealt these cards, but we were. Let’s take these songs and help the disease get awareness and raise money for a cause that’s working on education and research for my rare cancer.” – Chad Gilbert
Pheochromocytoma. A rare form of tumor that develops in the adrenal glands. While usually benign and treatable if caught early enough, it will still humble your sense of invulnerability. It makes you rethink your attitude towards inconvenience and joy. Towards creative expression and what you need to say. Channeling this approach to rethinking your mortality and accepting the natural flow of the universe can draw out some unexpected outcomes. NFG are very aware that they have never released an acoustic album. After all, how do you craft a familiar and relatable sound into something seemingly brand new and unexplored? If there is a road map, the band found it and with it a way to preserve the NFG sound and yet express a more delicate delivery.
With their first single, Dream Born Again, the band pick up right where they left off. Pundik comes in raw. Establishing humanity. Joking about hearing his voice in the studio headphones. After a quick mic-check, he jumps right in with his unique and unforgettable vocal delivery, singing an emotional plea to someone he fears may have gone. Much like the loss of normalcy that comes after a cancer diagnosis. While the song itself has that traditional pop-punk chord progression and unexpected familiarity, it doesn’t really push the boundaries of the acoustic genre but does expand where pop-punk sensibilities can go.
The second single, Get Me Home, portrays all the reasons to stay and fight. To not give up. The lyrics describe a litany of people who depend on the subject, plans they want to see through, and children they want to see grow up.
“Major surgery, battling cancer, and pleading with the doctors and surgeons to do all in their power to get you home and back to the future you’ve always hoped for…” – Chad Gilbert
Gilbert’s words ring true with a relatable sense of longing to return to your dreams and aspirations. Whether those dreams are big or small, it doesn’t matter. Those dreams are what keep you going. The song delivers a raw acoustic instrumental with full harmonies that drive home the cathartic essence that makes acoustic music so emotional. At the same time keeping that driving pop-punk beat and energy we would expect from NFG.
1. Dream Born Again
2. Mouth To Mouth
3. Get Me Home
4. Watch The Lilies Grow
5. More Than Enough
6. Kiss The Floor
9. All Downhill From Here
10. Dressed To Kill
11. The Story So Far
12. Failures Not Flattering
13. My Friends Over You
14. Hit Or Miss
Another notable track, Mouth To Mouth, the second track on the EP, is a cautionary poem on never taking anything for granted. A sentiment that most people see as a worn-out cliche rather than a valuable lesson told by older versions of ourselves. And while an indispensable piece of advice, something most people need to experience for themselves. While the instrumental combines flecks of Celtic folk and major chord progressions that elevate a sense of rejoicing, it falls within the wheelhouse of the band and again presents a familiarity that true fans will enjoy.
More Than Enough brings forward a relentless picking melody that reflects a train barreling down the tracks. The boxcars are full of elder punks singing along to the catchy chorus and memorable hooks like they did in their cars when they were teenagers.
The punky acoustic essence of Bayside, Dashboard, and Green Day is prevalent throughout the project. And while the technical ability may not be as up to caliber and some instrumental aspects not fully explored, it doesn’t detract from a solid, true acoustic effort that loyal NFG fans will enjoy. The static distortion on wide guitars, the reflective and appreciative manner of the lyrics and themes, the familiar campiness of those true pop-punk riffs. It’s all here, just in a different format.
The latter half of the EP is a seven-song collection of the band’s classics and crowd favorites but all acoustic and recorded live at NFG Unplugged Total Request Livestream & Concert that took place in Nashville in 2022.
NFG will be on tour supporting this EP starting in St. Louis at Delmar Hall on January 28th.
One thought on “ALBUM REVIEW: New Found Glory present a heartfelt reminder to seize the day and “Make The Most Of It””
Great write up! Can’t wait to listen