Sticks and Stones was the first album I bought with my own money and I’m fairly certain I had to buy it again after I wore the CD out. Ten years later, I saw New Found Glory for the first time on their Sticks and Stones anniversary tour and it’s still one of the best shows I’ve been to. Point being, New Found Glory has had a major impact on me through the years. Now, eighteen years after discovering what I can only describe as a life-altering album, I’m taking a listen through the band’s tenth album Forever + Ever x Infinity.
The album opens with “Shook by Your Shaved Head,” a bit of a mash-up between the band’s more pop sound heard on albums like Coming Home and the hardcore sound of Tip of the Iceberg or Not Without a Fight. It’s catchy, it’s energetic, and it’s a great way to kick things off. From there, we’re onto “Greatest of All Time,” another high-paced tune with my favourite hook on the entire album with the line; “Jordan, Rodman, and Pippen wouldn’t have known what had hit them.” Some other highlight tracks include the very hardcore-influenced “Himalaya,” or “The Way You Deserve,” a tune that sounds like it could’ve appeared on an album like Catalyst.
Now, about the lyrics: New Found Glory’s always been on the cornier side and Forever + Ever x Infinity is no exception. One of the worst offenders is the line; “you’re so see-thru, you might as well be a window” from “Nothing to Say.” There’s a large surplus of cheesy lines on songs like “Same Side Sitters” and “Do You Want to Settle Down,” both of which are painfully lovey-dovey.
Musically, there are a few duds through this album’s fifteen tracks. There are a few less-than-stellar melodies on songs like “Trophy” or “Scarier Than Jason Vorhees at a Campfire,” and some slower tunes like the acoustic-ish “More and More” don’t do much to keep my attention. None of the songs mentioned above are terrible, but they’re not the highlight of my relistens.
Forever + Ever x Infinity is melodic, dynamic, some other adjective that ends in “ic,” and I am digging it. The cheese factor can be a bit taxing, but I think that’s always been a part of the band’s charm. If you’ve been a fan of New Found Glory’s latest couple of albums, you’re going to be a fan of this one.
Forever + Ever x Infinity is set to drop on June 19th.
Written by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Anna Della Zazzera