Blue Robot

Album Review: New Found Glory - Radiosurgery

Posted by Ryan Kappy on 10/24 at 03:21 PM

Grade: A-

New Found Glory seems to always put out new records that become pop-punk gems in the genre that they have revolutionized.  Since their inception in 1997, they have released six full-length albums that each had their own unique qualities in the band members’ lives.  The band, consisting of Jordan Pundik (lead vocals), Chad Gilbert (lead guitars, backing vocals, composer), Steve Klein (guitar, lyricist), Ian Grushka (bass guitar), and Cyrus Bolooki (drums), are notorious for writing love based lyrics with pop hooks and breakdowns that have you either singing at the top of your lungs or jumping up and down to the ceiling.  The band has returned with their latest full length album, Radiosurgery, that turns their music back to their old days of pop punk that made them who they are today.

During this past summer, Jordan and Chad were able to be reached through PSU’s The LION 90.7 about the record and get their input on the direction of the music they were writing.  They said that the record has a concept aspect where there are different stories that are told about the aftermath of a break up from a significant other.  The term radiosurgery is a medical procedure of taking a tumor from the brain using ionizing radiation. But in the album’s sense it deals with removing past situations. In putting these ideas together with their music, they have returned to their classic NFG style.

The record begins with the title track that has a punk-riveting introduction of guitar work with Pundik statin: “I’m broken down, I’m a nervous wreck, my heart is beating right out of my chest and nothing feels familiar at all to me.” It continues onto a poppy chorus - unheard of for the band - before breaking into a melodic solo by Gilbert.  The solo is followed again by a bouncy bridge.  ‘Anthem For the Unwanted’ could be anthem for the album itself as it starts off with a drumbeat and “oh’s” from Pundik before breaking into the full band with catchy verses and a loud chorus worth singing your voice out.  The bridge takes a catch in a classic New Found Glory style breakdown with their technical palm muting guitars.  The album starts to speed up with the track ‘Drill It In My Brain’ and a catchy chorus about not being able to let go of a relationship, with the lyrics: “You keep bringing me down, cause you know I let you, drill it in my brain, so I wont forget you. Hold you back, when I don’t deserve you, wanting you more, the more I know you.”  The bridge has one of the heavier breakdowns I’ve heard come from the band. I liked how it was incorporated into the flow of the song.

I’m Not The One’ is my favorite track on the record. It has technical dual guitar verses and a chorus that is both bouncy and heavy.  Pundik screams out: “She said that I’m not the one, that she should bring home tonight (She said I’m not the one). And I know that she’s not the one, that I should bring home tonight.”  There is also a more complex breakdown of different chord progressions in the bridge before ending with the final chorus.  Then there is the transition to ‘Ready, Aim, Fire!’ that slows down the record with a main riff that coincides with Bolooki’s drumming patterns.  This song leads to the person finally realizing that their significant other was never worth it, and that he wants to forget all the memories now.  ‘Dumped’ speeds up the record again with Grushka’s main bass riff before breaking into the full band.  The song has the literal meaning of wanting to go back in time to end it before it starts.  A perfect illustration of this is when Pundik sings: “you were the only one to break my heart, if I could just go back to the start I’d tell myself I don’t need anyone.”

Summer Fling, Don’t Mean A Thing’ is a song that reminds me of old Green Day. The beginning chord progression goes right to your eardrums when they are strummed.  This song explores the melodic side of the band with little licks in between measures, and also a full solo by Gilbert to spice up the music.  The song tells of wanting nothing to do with your ex when s/he wants you back.  The record slows down to its fullest with the track ‘Caught In The Act,’ with its rhythmic verses and a chorus that is delightful with emotion.  The song has another solo by Gilbert filled with pinch harmonics showing great technique in the guitar work.  This is followed by Bethany Cosentino from the indie rock band Best Coast, making the only guest appearance on the record. She lends her vocals to the final chorus with such delight, and gives a female perspective on the theme of the track.

Memories And Battle Scars’ is the fastest song on the album with a NFG attitude, fast chord-filled verses, and bouncy choruses.  The part that sticks out to me is the bridge where it reminds of their Self-Titled album with stopping breakdowns of the instruments that make you want to jump in your living room. Pundik screams out during the bridge: “Coming undone to the back bone of our memory, fall asleep to the promise of our melody. You’ll risk your neck to tell me how this will never work out.” This song serves as an ironic turn as it expresses that things should be back to the way they used to be and that maybe breaking up would not be a good idea.  ‘Trainwreck’ starts off with a rather technical intro riff that coincides with the rest of the verse before heading into the chorus with the lyrics: “Falling in love is like a trainwreck if you make it out alive, you still haven’t made it so tell me the truth.” The record ends with ‘Map of Your Body’ that starts out with a fast paced verse leading into a definitive chorus with Pundik pleading: “There’s a map of your body hanging over my head. It’s a curse not having you to hold again. By the time I figure this all out you let me go.” To end the album, the song picks up again but faster than the original beat to emphasize the final chorus of guitar licks.

New Found Glory, from Coral Springs, Florida, never fails to deliver an album full of happiness and fun, even if the lyrics have a depressing message.  The album as a whole showed me that the band still has what it takes to uplift the pop punk movement and keep trekking towards bigger and better things.  They are currently headlining the Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour that is going around the U.S. and is sure to be a fun show to attend.  The album is available now and can be purchased on amazon.com:

{name} Author: Ryan Kappy
Bio: Ryan Kappy is currently a senior majoring in Telecommunications and Economics. He enjoys listening to all types of music, playing guitar, watching and playing different sports, playing video games, and eating different types of food. His ideal type of music is alternative rock, pop punk, metalcore, and both hardcore and post-hardcore genres. His favorite bands include Blink-182, New Found Glory, Rise Against, Brand New, Thrice, and Bayside.

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