After the unfortunate success of their last album, Sticks and
Stones, eighth-wave Florida pop punkers New Found Glory have
released their follow-up, Catalyst. In an attempt not to alienate
any of their fans, Catalyst is filled with the same hardcore
bubblegum crap-punk that keeps lip pierced and the Vans Warped Tour
rolling.

Music Reviews
Music Reviews
Tool, tool, loser, tool, tool … (Courtesy of Drive-Thru)

Lead singer Jordan Pundik’s nasal drone has always been
annoying, but it’s even more unbearable singing his tepid
lyrics: “You must not have a heart / have nothing in your
chest.” True to form, most of the album’s songs are
uninspired musings on relationships. This LiveJournal style is
smothered by the glossy production that gives the whole affair a
radio-friendly sheen. Despite the production, the songs still
collapse under their own redundancy.  

Obligatory power ballad and definite low point of Catalyst
“I Don’t Wanna Know” utilizes frightening
orchestral backing to add extra emotion to lyrics such as
“Your eyes were covered in sunglasses when they first met
mine.”

Although it’s not necessarily a bad thing, commercial punk
music has been largely missing from the radio since the
mid-’90s demise of Green Day and late ’90s one-album
wonders blink-182. Bands like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte help keep
the mall-punks quiet, but New Found Glory are just missing that
instant catchy appeal that’s so important to a genre that
relies on a cheap, forgettable sound.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.

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