Album review

New Found Glory : Sticks And Stones
Drive-Thru / MCA

New Found Glory : Sticks And StonesI've always thought of New Found Glory as a second division punk band. They just seemed incredibly middle-of-the-road - not offering anything that I hadn't heard a million times before. I figured they were destined for obscurity.
    Then last year they started to sell CDs. Dressed To Kill and Hit Or Miss were released as singles in the UK, and New Found Glory seemed to be playing larger and larger venues each time they came over to tour. Obviously a growing number of fans were getting something out of their music. Maybe I had misjudged them?

Understatement kicks off Sticks And Stones, and it's a quality tune. Sure it's another slice of NOFX-influenced pop-punk, and it isn't breaking down any barriers, but sometimes a good melody is enough.
    My Friends Over You should be familiar by now. The video is all over MTV2 and Kerrang! TV, and a single release beckons. Once again, nothing new, but you can sing along to it.
    Album highlight Something I Call Personality soon arrives, and this one really is something special. Bringing to mind Florida neighbours Less Than Jake, I could really see the attraction of New Found Glory if they had more songs like this.

It's Been A Summer, Belated and The Story So Far all come and go. They're all pretty interchangeable, but after a few plays you'll be singing along to all of them.
    So what's the rub? I've listened to Sticks And Stones in excess of 30 times. Half an hour after the last note sounds I couldn't hum the smallest snatch of melody from any of the tracks apart from My Friends Over You. New Found Glory leave absolutely no lasting impact. It's a good album - very enjoyable to listen to - but in desperate need of some big musical hooks. Maybe next time.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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