and they are just as glorious as before.
Inspired by turning off the TV last night (I know, a fairly unusual occurrence in our house, due only to the fact the husband was out and it was recording Masterchef, which of course I wasn’t allowed to watch before him), I sought the company of music. Going to the old haunts, I discovered that one of my old faveys New Found Glory had released an album at the back end of last year, and somehow this event had passed me by. I don’t pretend to be up-to-date with who’s releasing what any more, and I think I gave up looking for new stuff by them (their previous album was released in 2011). So I was a little surprised, but mostly excited, to discover this new album.
The first thing that struck me was how much like New Found Glory it sounded. That might sound a bit daft, since of course it is them, but I had forgotten their distinctive sound. I had listened to their other albums over the years, but I probably knew all of the songs too well for it to register any more. And then came the nostalgia flooding back. The sounds – not the lyrics – took me back to the early noughties. Particular and distinct memories were raised by certain songs. I remembered sitting in the dining room playing guitar with friends aged approximately 13 or 14. I think it is particularly the vocal sound of Jordan Pundik – his tone – that really evokes the sound of New Found Glory. They also have a very distinctive vocal melody “twiddle” (mostly in the form of an appoggiatura, or grace note) that recurs throughout the albums over the years – even found in some of their covers.
It’s not surprising that music becomes a part of someone’s identity – given how much it relates the present person (the me I am now listening to NFG) to the past person (the teenager I was, playing guitar with my friends to NFG tracks) and forms a kind of continuous story behind one’s identity. Although my musical knowledge has increased over the years, and my guitar playing has improved, I can still listen to NFG as my teenage self. I can’t say for certain it was a direct cause, but I then had a dream which included my gang of childhood friends who I rarely see that night, so obviously some ‘memory’ part of my brain was at work, or perhaps was woken up, by the music.
I don’t want to do an analysis of the lyrics, because, though I like them, I don’t find them overly exciting in general (and I like to analyse the music rather than the words – music is after all a bodily sound experience and not an abstract text), but I read somewhere that NFG are different to other American punk-rock bands because they don’t swear so often (though I can think of a couple off the top of my head). Someone has probably done the tally chart or song-swear ratio of such bands, but I think they are pretty much family friendly.
Oh, and my favourite song on the album is ‘Vicious Love’. Psycho-analyse that!