REVIEW: New Found Glory – Radiosurgery

Artist: New Found Glory
Album: Radiosurgery
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Epitaph

Old school punk bands have always been consistent favorites of mine for years and years, I don’t really listen to it all that often anymore, but it’s always on the back burner. My musical tastes have evolved and changed over the years, but those punk bands have always been around; 90’s era AFI, The Ramones, Bad Religion, The Clash, and so on, still earn themselves a listen now and again, and have been a mainstay in my music collection for more than a decade now. But unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to add any bands to that legendary roster over the years and most of my old favorites are either dead, or just not quite the same anymore. It never really bothered me too much, I was always satisfied with the classics, but I have been curious as to why no one can manage to pull off such a sound these days. Other than Sharks, I can’t think of anyone that seriously pulled it off in a proper, yet modern way. But apparently, we had to leave it up to the veterans to redefine the modern interpretation of old school punk. New Found Glory have been on the scene since 1997, and were very much a part of the late 90s punk movement, and they have been steadily progressing ever since then. But with their new album Radiosurgery, they have decided to try something new, sort of. They have taken what they have learned over the years, and applied it to the classic punk sound that inspired them from the start. And the result is a record that fully captures the new-old-school sound that no one else seems to be able to pull off.

The concept of this album is really quite brilliant, nearly anyone can write a pop punk album, and quite a few people actually do, and the same was true of the old punk sound from years ago. But to take that old, timeless sound, and tweak it so it fits with today’s scene, while still maintaining that timeless quality that so many modern albums lack, is ingenious. Radiosurgery is actually quite well balanced, seamlessly infusing the qualities of old and new into a fantastically well done final product. “Ready, Aim, Fire!” is the epitome of this ‘old with new’ mantra, the intro riff sounds straight out of a Ramones song, but the rest of the song not only sounds fresh and new, but clearly a product of New Found Glory. That said, the album isn’t purely an exercise of nostalgia, “Anthem For The Unwanted” is a perfect rendition of what pop punk today should be, it’s not just a fusion of the old with the new, but a textbook example of modern pop punk as well. It’s really best to think of this album as an album for today’s world, as dreamed up by veterans of the scene. Complete with all the old touches, like those palm-muted power chord verses that I love so much, mixed with a contemporary twist, as viewed by titans of the genre.

I’ve always been curious as to how a current, modern day band would be able to interpret the old punk classics, and I guess I just assumed no one would really to to tackle such a task. And in a way, I was right, New Found Glory aren’t exactly new-comers to the scene, but really, I think that makes them an even better candidate to showcase what punk used to represent, and how it can be applied to today’s scene. And in that sense, Radiosurgery pulls this off brilliantly. In all honesty, I’m not even sure if a new band would be able to comprehend the meaning of punk well enough to do the sound any proper justice. But in all honesty, I thought the shelf life for this sort of pop punk band was rather short – I don’t think anyone would disagree when I say that Billie Joe Armstrong is way too old to be wearing guyliner – I always thought that at a certain point, it was time to grow up, and mature a bit. But New Found Glory have gone a long way to prove that idea wrong, in fact, I’d be hard pressed to name many up and coming bands that have the potential to write a record of this caliber. So it looks like there be no such thing as too old for pop punk, in fact the old guys had to be recruited to show everyone else what a good pop punk album really is.

SCORE: 8/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell
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