New Found Glory

// "Radiosurgery"

The liner notes of this album has one page spouting the statement that pop punk is not dead. Give New Found Glory credit for sticking to their guns. They have been playing this particular genre since forming in Coral Gables, Fla. in 1997 and continue on this, their seventh album.

The title track starts things off and quickly reveals the limitations of pop punk. A basic, three chord composition, a very short, simple guitar solo and poppy backing vocals.

The next tune, "Anthem For The Unwanted," is much better. The lyrics examine a breakup. "What did you say as I walked out the door? Did you want me back? Did you want me?"

The breakup theme continues on "Drill It In My Brain." "Forget everything you told me about needing space/ and how I keep getting in your way."

"I'm Not The One" is somewhat catchy. It is about a guy and girl trying to decide if they are right for each other. "Knock, knockin' on your bedroom door/ can't help but feel like I've done this before."

Vocalist Jordan Pundik describes how he gets when a girl upsets him. "Set this whole town on fire/ take you with me to watch it burn/ is this what you wanted? Look at what you started."

The sixth song, "Dumped" is about, what else? Another breakup. "I stayed all night until you asked me to go/ I relive it every time that I am alone/ and it's only now that I'm finding out/ you were the only one to break my heart." Between the music and backing vocals, all the songs are starting to sound alike.

"Summer Fling, Don't Mean A Thing" is about a guy turning away a girl who just wants to use him. "When you need a boy around you, just for the summer/ don't come knocking on my door." It has another simple guitar solo, this one clocking in at a whopping 12 seconds. However, bass player Ian Grushka and drummer Cyrus Bolooki reveal some talent in their parts.

"Caught In The Act" is the best song. It has a tasteful, melodic guitar solo of 26 seconds. It is followed by a guest vocal appearance by Bethany Cosentino from the band Best Coast. The overall vibe suggests a California summer pop song from the 1960s.

"Memories and Battle Scars" reveals a rough side of romance. "I want to kiss you so hard that your lips bleed/ and I want to hold you so tight that your ribs break."

Mixing pop and punk rock was a bad idea from the start. The former is meant for the masses. The latter is meant for the underground. This is a generic, forgettable album with a few highlights. This is something teenage girls likely listen to on their way to the mall. How did punk ever get associated with such music? Perhaps pop punk should die.

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