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Hot Stuff: New Found Glory Prove Pop-Punk’s Not Dead

New Found Glory keep the pop-punk flame burning with a new album fresh for 2011. New Found Glory keep the pop-punk flame burning with a new album fresh for 2011.

Hey growers, this week we’ve got a kind of a retro-but-not-retro column of music picks for you. We’ve got an all punk and pop-punk edition of Hot Stuff. The roots of pop-punk go all the way back to the beginning, in the ‘70s, when bands like Buzzcocks and Generation X kicked out super catchy pop gems with a punk edge. The genre blew way up in the ‘90s when Green Day, NOFX, and Screeching Weasel rocked it out, each with their own version of three-chord punk. New Found Glory caught the tail of that wave, just as the genre was really going mainstream. Then Blink-182 led the charge over the airwaves, as pop-punk became the new arena rock. But even as the trend died, some bands stayed true, kept recording, and touring. And they’re still at it, while new bands continue to keep the flame burning on indie labels. We’ve got New Found Glory and some other great bands to check out this week, so dig in.

New Found Glory – Radiosurgery

NFG are currently the #1 flagbearers of the pop-punk genre. In fact, the tour in support of Radiosurgery is called "The Pop-Punk’s Not Dead Tour." So it’s no surpise that spinning the new record yields straight up pop-punk at its best. The songs are infectious, head-bobbing goodness. Nothing heavy, dark, or difficult here. These are sweet pop tunes getting a kick in the rear courtesy of some buzzsaw guitars. It’s not groundbreaking, but that’s just fine.


Man Overboard – Man Overboard

These guys are pop-punk in a more down-to-earth vein than New Found Glory. They’re also not afraid to crank up the tempo and rock hard – all without sacrificing the melodies so key to a good pop-punk band. But that doesn't mean there aren't some more vulnerable moments on this record either. Man Overboard are versatile like that. Some great guitar lines, straight-from-the-heart lyrics, and plenty of great harmonies keep Man Overboard barreling along beautifully.


The Swellers – Good For Me

The Swellers sound a little more like a straight up rock band than some of the other bands on this list thanks partly to the voice of lead singer Nick Diener, who eschews the whine of classic pop-punk for a throatier approach. The melodies these guys harness are super memorable, taking a step out from the paint-by-numbers tunes of generic bands out there. The Swellers also have just the right touch with harmonies, bringing out the best of each song’s hook. This is genre-transcending stuff, the kind of thing you can recommend to your pop-punk hating friends.

The Dangerous Summer – War Paint

The Dangerous Summer are sometimes categorized as pop-punk that’s not really the best tag for them. The Dangerous Summer are far from the typical three chords and a snotty attitude. Instead, on War Paint they sound like an amped up indie rock band, but with actual songwriting chops. The delivery here is out-and-out passionate, making their memorable songs even more compelling. There’s a power in these tracks that few bands are able to capture or retain without sacrificing everything else to that intensity. The Dangerous Summer have managed to harness something immediate and essential throughout the run time of this incredible full-length.


Nothington – Borrowed Time

These guys are more punk and less pop than the rest of this week’s round-up, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come through with some catchy songs. Nothington’s latest record is filled with the kind of punk songs that invite fist-pumping sing-alongs. When you need some energy to power through the end of the day, give Borrowed Time a spin and crank it up.


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Buzzcocks were arguably the first pop-punk band.
Last modified on Monday, 16 July 2012 17:03

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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