New Found Glory
Catalyst


1.0
awful

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
April 23rd, 2006 | 104 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Pop-punk is a much maligned genre. People think it's emo, crappy, annoying, bland, and just plain ***ty. This opinion is usually incredibly misguided and largely ignorant people who watch too much MTV are usually those to make this claim. And that's because crappy bands make it big. You know the drill. Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Hawthorne Heights. All widely accepted as garbage bands, and pretty much always were. But when you get to New Found Glory, you reach a nasty situation. New Found Glory used to be pretty good. Their debut, Nothing Gold Can Stay, contained charming punky little toons from a little band that had big dreams, but no one actually took seriously. But by the time they dropped Sticks and Stones, the band finally mastered the art of pop hooks and catchy-ass harmonies. "My Friends Over You" and "Understatement" were favorite diddies of tweenagers everywhere. The band contained relative mainstream status now, and by the time they felt like dropping their 4th album, Catalyst, a branching out from their sound was not only understandable, but expected. But like so many bands, the branch was a thin one, and though it looks pretty upon first glance, push on it a little, and it'll snap off and come crashing down.

Catalyst, while supposedly trying to be a statement of attitude, comes off sounding like a house of 5 spoiled boys between the ages of 3 and 10 with instruments. Lead singer Jordan Pundik's perfected generic whine sounds like a kid with a temper tantrum as he obnoxiously over-shouts lines like "What's your problem? Can't you see it? Then you go and blow it like everyone knows you will." Not only does Pundik's voice sound like he has vocal cords in his nose, he has the lyrical intelligence of a kindergartner. Rarely does he use words more than two syllables, and no signs of improvement are in sight. It's so disappointing when a band who packed "I'm too good for girls" anthems into their first 3 albums change to senseless lyrics and nervous virgin emo ballads. I Don't Wanna Know is an overdone, overproduced, cheesy slow track with some out of place violins, a la "Ocean Avenue" Yellowcard and a Lillith Fair imitator playing the role of nervous slut. The band used to have such a knack for providing their slower songs with still anthemic qualities. Sticks And Stones' "Forget My Name" had a relatable though overdone theme and provided a voice for the typical lonely adolescent, but I Don't Wanna Know's sex makes me nervous storyline makes New Found Glory just sound like pussies, although I give them credit for being one of the few bands to admit first sex is scary. Interestingly after I Don't Wanna Know, the very next tune has the band almost-anthem shouting "I wanna know." It's painfully funny to listen to these guys contradict themselves track after track. On No News Is Good News, New Found Glory, a band that survives only because of the faux punk obsession teens have, goes on an anti MTV rant, calling out "I can't imagine what they'll tell me: What to wear, what to drink, where to eat." The first lines of the album pretty much tell you what you should think about New Found Glory. Don't believe a word they ***ing say.

While the band may have had the best of intentions when putting out Catalyst, they somehow manage to sacrifice song depth and quality. Songs sound incredibly alike, with drummer Cyrus Balooki never during the course of the album successfully straying from a typical punk beat, bass-snare, bass-snare. Nearly the entire album consists of the simple formula any kid in a garage could write. Palm muted verses, loud choruses. Nothing much else to say. Guitarists Chad Gilbert and Steve Klein rarely get to show off their talent should they have any, and even if they did, Pundik's vocals are so mind numbingly whiny and invasive, you can't pay attention to anything else. Ian Grushka's basswork is minimal, as if he just is along for the ride. It's a general problem with pop-punk. Few bands within the genre expand their basswork beyond rootnotes, and New Found Glory is no exception, especially on Catalyst. On past albums, some interesting instrumentations and creativity were present, especially on the hysterical 7 song EP From The Screen to Your Stereo, where NFG pop-punked up 80's movies anthems. But Catalyst contains nothing outside the formula, leading to a boring, repetitive listen. It's a frusterating problem that I as a music buyer have often encountered, but have tolerated due to the fact I enjoyed the song the band kept repeating. On New Found Glory's Catalyst, the song is dull, annoying, and is just plain depressing. At Least I'm Known For Something? The only thing this album is going to be known for will likely be it's contribution to the death of punk.

The reason this album is so frustrating is that you can audibly hear how it could be so much better. If Pundik wasn't singing through his nose the entire thing, maybe the album could have garnered a better rating. Worse than Pundik's vocal ineptitude is the fact that on many songs, he goes completely out of his singing range, like Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara, only without the passion. On This Disaster Pundik pulls a Davey Havok and somehow thinks it's necessary to go unbelievably high in his vocal range, to a point where it's almost scary. And you can hear how it's affecting him too. On Truth of My Youth, Pundik shouts "These are my thoughts written down on paper. It's my only savior from not sayin' *Gasp* What I wanna say." No amount of slick production could fix that. While past albums controlled Pundik's annoyingly nasal whine, Catalyst lets it go untamed, and it takes a massive chunk out of the album. The production on the album makes it impossible for the listener to hear anything else, as his lyrical travesties master control the collection. Generic song titles and themes make the album easy to hate, and makes the listener ask how can they still respect themselves after writing songs under titles such as Doubt Full? I'm sure the money helped maintain New Found Glory's self esteem at a reasonable level.

To put it simply, this album would be a waste of time. It's not often I make a mistake as grand as buying this. Many a listener once a mild fan of New Found Glory's poppy melodies and kid friendly harmonies will run into a big brick wall when they turn on Catalyst. It's a colossal error, by far New Found Glory's worst album to date. It seems like they threw together the album in a week and recorded. The lovable "You're a meany" themes of previous albums change to "Wahh you stink" and "Sex is creepy". Catalyst shouldn't even be for the diehard fan of New Found Glory. And I'm not being harsh. After all, it kind of sucks when it's a non-arguable point that the best part of your album was the thirty-seven second intro.

Recommended Tracks

Intro

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I know, I know, It's harsh, and it's short. But I didn't want to bore you with a long-ass review saying the same thing: This album sucks.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

SubtleDagger
April 23rd 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

My brother bought this one. I could listen to every NFG album before this that he bought. Not only can I not listen to this one, he can't either. It really is very, very bad.

Thor
April 23rd 2006


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Yeah, I'll agree with you on this. This album blows.

south_of_heaven 11
April 23rd 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yea, this is pretty f***ing bad...
Review said it all, nice work.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Funny thing is, this is the only NFG album I can stand to listen to.

It's pretty bad, but its not terrible imho.

Edit: Good review anyways, I pos'd it.This Message Edited On 04.23.06

Psyclone
April 23rd 2006


432 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I totally agree with you. The only reason that I bought this was because of All Downhill From Here and At Least I'm Known For Something. I've grown to hate All Downhill From Here and I think that the later is alright. Awesome review. This is the first album of NFG's that I've bought, and will probably be the last.

After all, it kind of sucks when it's a non-arguable point that the best part of your album was the thirty-seven second intro.

:lol:This Message Edited On 04.23.06

The Jungler
April 23rd 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great review, you touched on everything I tried to tell my friends when they made me watch this band at the 2004 warped tour.
The first single wasn't bad, but everything after that was intensley terrible.


TurnTheOtherWay
April 23rd 2006


459 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I enjoyed All Downhill From Here, bought the album, and enjoyed it for about a week. Looking back, I don't know what was wrong with me...
But yeah, the intro was by far the best song.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Thanks for the great responses so far guys, I was nervous that the shorter length of this review would be an issue. Cheers!

TurnTheOtherWay
April 23rd 2006


459 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Size doesn't matter. It's how you use it. ;)

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Hi-yooooo

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments


I thought you were doing Yeah Yeah Yeahs? :upset:

Anyway great review. A little out of left field, but great job nontheless.

weerez1391
April 23rd 2006


89 Comments


Boohana Ha'rell!!!!!!!!!!

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments


...whatever makes you happy, young sir.

Two-Headed Boy
April 23rd 2006


4527 Comments


MusicOfficial: Did you ever write into Spin on regards to their Interpol article? Cause theres a letter that says that they worship the band and it came from upstate New York. You by any chance?

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Nope not me.

And I actually have yet to adequately listen to Show Your Bones beyond Gold Lion.

So glad to finally write a negative review.

NEDM
April 23rd 2006


1113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There were a few tracks on here that I found slightly catchy when I first heard them, but nontheless, this really is a terrible album.

pattern_recognition
April 23rd 2006


950 Comments


Pretty much the antithesis of all that is good and happy-making in the world of music.
I gotta admit though, My Friends Over You is still one of my guilty pleasures.
This album blows, however.

Pyramidman
April 23rd 2006


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wel good reveiw
I havent hear anything other than All Downhill From Here
I think thats not a bad song, but its no My friends Over You

btw the singer from TBS is Adam LazzaraThis Message Edited On 04.23.06

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2006


15740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Pardon moi, typo. It'll be edited immediately.



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