Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The Academy (Birmingham) 03/12/2006

New Found Glory

If this show had been New Found Glory circa their self-titled album this would have been stella.

Still the show was a cracker and the younger kids newly into New Found Glory (Now 9 years old) seemed to lap them up, including their newest material from their latest album “Coming Home”. This headline show from their recent UK tour was seemingly not sold out, but it was definitely rammed, which is a sign that New Found Glory haven’t lost it, even though they’re all mostly married and now family orientated rather than trying to get girlfriends or get laid like back in the day!

When I arrived Hit The Lights had already started, which was a bit of a shame as their debut album “This Is a Stick Up: Don’t Make It a Murder” released on Triple Crown Records this year was the soundtrack to my summer and I was really looking forward to finally seeing these Americans finally hit our shores with their upbeat brand of Fall Out Boy/Punchline pop-punk with balls. Luckily I’d only missed 2, possibly 3 songs and the ones I did see lost none of the ferociousness they have on CD, none of the huge melodies or sing-a-long choruses got watered down and they delivered everything I was hoping they would. I would love to see these guys play a headline show near me in the future as they showed huge promise. Normally you get disappointed after a great album by a foreign band and then they are lacklustre, or can’t perform what they put to disk live. This was not the case with Hit The Lights. They were energetic, bouncy, powerful and captivating. Had me rocking out, that’s for sure. Band of the night.

Next up was a bit of a curveball for me. I hadn’t seen The Early November since they supported The Starting Line whilst supporting their “Room Is Cold” album on Drive Thru Records and to be honest they were very disappointing. Following on from their storming EP “For All Of This” the album was slow and forgettable (Bar a few tracks) and so I had lost most of my confidence in this once brilliant band. Then I head they were releasing a 3-disk album. Yep, they’d lost the plot. Suddenly I was invited to go to this gig and here was The Early November being presented to me on a plate. I must say bar a couple of new duffers, which were slow and deathly (Even a widdling guitar solo couldn’t save them) they played a blinding set. With old songs like “Ever So Sweet” and “For All Of This” really taking flight in The Academy tonight. The crowd seemed to love these boys, and I must say album tracks “Fluxy” and “Baby Blue” even made me sing-a-long and get down with the funky rocking! A surprisingly good set by a once brilliant band and former label mates of New Found Glory.

Next up was what most people here had come to see, the return of pop-punk heroes New Found Glory. Suddenly the crowd seemed to thicken out as though people had seeped out of the walls and gathered into the already thronging crowd. From here on in the pop-punk pogo jumping was a-go-go! I’d not be surprised if they stole the nicest guys in rock away from Dave Grohl given half a chance as they come across as extremely appreciative of their fans continuing support and appear to love playing for the crowd, which after 9 years is quite a feat in itself! Older tracks like “Never Ending Story” and “Hit Or Miss” really triumph for me it must be said. They have a special place with me as reminders of my misspent youth! Some “Catalyst” material is hit and miss (Pardon the pun) and I could do without to be honest, but then the newer songs from “Coming Home” seem to strike a chord with the crowd and me really. The simplistic, yet fun way New Found Glory approach their song writing, and thus their performance is only to be admired. Yes Jordan looks like Popeye meets Quentin Tarrantino and yes his voice is an acquired taste for many as it whines squeakily along but in the context of their ‘mature’ pop-punk it is a hit. Not the best I’ve ever seen the band, but then in the pop-punk world they are getting on a bit!! But don’t write them off yet. Entertaining.