Pop-punk is one of the genres that is hotly debated within itself. Say, people who like the Ramones, the Queers and Teenage Bottlerocket would say that bands like Blink-182, New Found Glory and Lagwagon aren't really pop-punk -- and vice versa. Keep in mind, to metal fans, hip-hop heads and parents: it all sounds the same. At its core it's a few chords, lots of guitar, catchy hooks, and having a good time.
We'll go ahead and say our boys from Coral Springs, New Found Glory are pop-punk. After all, their upcoming tour is called Pop Punk's Not Dead. When New Found Glory formed in 1997, there was a lot of hubbub at Club Q in Davie about how Shai Hulud frontman Chad Gilbert was moonlighting in a non-hardcore band.
NFG never lost sight of it's hardcore roots -- even though their newest jam, "Radiosurgery," sounds more like classic Green Day than Earth Crisis. The lyrics paint a picture of a guy who knows his friends have his back. When you sing about your friends having your back, that's hardcore. They've consistently been big on the "bros before hoes" tip. Check 2002's "My Friends Over You," for evidence and proof.
Their new song is a pretty perfect pop-rock song, they seem to have trimmed off anything that makes them sound like classic Blink-182. So has Blink-182 -- but, instead of experimenting and trying out neat riffs, deep lyrics and weirdo time signatures, NFG focuses sharply on rocking, and working their way into your head. The lyric, "it makes my brain hurt" seems like a nod to pop-punk superheroes Screeching Weasel.
This song is what CIV was trying really hard to do with "Big Girl," except CIV jumped the shark. For those who don't know, or never cared, hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits lost a member or two and became the slightly more pop-punk CIV. Their first album Set Your Goals wasn't bad, or awesome. But on their follow up 13 Day Getaway, they went really far into the world of pop-rock and sounded like CIV covering Smash Mouth.
The best thing about this track and NFG is the lack of trying to jump on any bandwagon. This song has no indie dance, garage revival revival or dubstep elements. It's nice to know that in the world where New Found Glory lives, they and their friends are just hanging out, getting dumped by girlfriends and getting better at skating, moshing and writing songs.
For more on the debate of what is pop-punk and what is hardcore and what New Found Glory is supposed to be, please check out the comments on this YouTube upload of "Radiosurgery."
Or, figure it out when New Found Glory plays a hometown show in Fort Lauderdale this fall.
New Found Glory. Sunday, October 16 at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Click here. We will add a ticket link when available.