Man Overboard
Heavy Love


3.7
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 28th, 2015 | 57 replies


Release Date: 06/30/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "If you look at the facts, you know I've never been better"

With little fanfare and even less gimmickry, the previously self-proclaimed defenders of pop-punk Man Overboard are quietly releasing their fourth studio LP ‘Heavy Love’. A prolific band who have tended to leave any experimentation to the EP format, the New Jersey quintet have produced yet another workmanlike record with no grand reinvention evident. Their influences are readily apparent, the tunes are uncomplicated, while the overall sound fits somewhere in the middle of their previous three albums on the poppy-to-punky ratio. To that end, deciding to work with veteran producer Bill Stevenson was an inspired choice, since he brings a no-nonsense approach to proceedings that might not be flashy, but keeps this energetic band focused on their strengths, and less reliant on forced detours into “fad of the month” territory.

Lyrically, ‘Heavy Love’ is probably too nostalgic for an act entering their eight year together. Not only are the themes overly common, but even the situational specifics have a sense of deja vu about them. As an example, ‘Cliffhanger’ has “at the park at 4am, drinking beer out of a can, wishing I could understand what it takes to be a man”. The same track also proves how self-deprecating the songwriting is, stating “I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m depressed, and whatever’s in front of me I’ll always see as something less”. Thankfully, the lyrics are delivered in sincere and passionate fashion by Man Overboard’s trademark call and response approach. In Zac Eisenstein & Nik Bruzzese, the band have a dual attack that complements each other well, since their vocals are distinguishable from each other and slide easily enough across the genre’s spectrum. As is to be expected, there’s also the occasional gang chant or emphasized sing-along (‘Borderline’ and ‘Anything’) for the sake of hooky immediacy.

While there isn’t any filler on ‘Heavy Love’, a couple of the poppier tunes (opener ‘Now That You’re Home’ and ‘She’s In Pictures’) do tend to float off into the background. Fans of the band’s earlier work may be impressed by the pacy ‘Reality Check’ and 'Cliffhanger', while any musical progression is intentionally understated on growers such as ‘The Note’ and bass-driven closer ‘A Love That I Can’t Have’. Needless to say, the band still have not delivered anything as individually memorable as early favorite ‘Montrose’, although ‘Splinter’, 'Cliffhanger' and 'Invisible' would be the band's best album triumvirate to date! At the end of the day, you should already know what you’re getting with the familiar - but satisfying - ‘Heavy Love’, and it’s very much an album for already entrenched Man Overboard fans. "And the sad thing is that I've never been better" proclaim Eisenstein & Bruzzese on 'Cliffhanger'... Fellas, there's nothing sad about it in the case of this album.

Recommended Tracks: Cliffhanger, Invisible, Splinter & A Love That I Can't Have.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

My aim was to make this a rare 2 paragraph review. I failed.

This album has really grown on me with each listen. Initially, it just feels like yet another Man Overboard LP, but I actually think it could be their best record - if you discount the lack of significant growth factor.

'Cliffhanger': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNPDmiHgC14

'Splinter': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNeEU6hFFX8



Cygnatti
June 28th 2015


31838 Comments


there's like 0 reason to care about this band anymore tbh :/

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I kinda think it's refreshing that they haven't tried to oversell this album.



Plus, a solid Davey review should be enough to care. ;-)

skoopy48
June 28th 2015


1872 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree with this, best since their debut. Honestly didn't like their last much, but this is much better.

Cygnatti
June 28th 2015


31838 Comments


oh yes a daveyboy review is always good enough to care. :]

i mean i still dig some of their stuff songs, that one that goes "shut up shut up, it's my turn to talk...when you lay in my bed and pick my brain" and fantasy girl. that said, this is probably a hard N.O. for me.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

skoopy, I didn't hate 'Heart Attack' because it's highlights were strong imo, but I do agree that it didn't match their previous efforts. I also agree that their debut is the only album to challenge this. And, in all honesty, I didn't think this was as good as their debut over the first few listens to it (people will rate this a 3 if they rate after 1-3 listens), but it really grew on me. Bill Stevenson produced albums always seem to.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2015


21851 Comments


I saw these guys live on the pop punk is not dead tour a few years ago but they were completely overshadowed by the wonder years. still, i'm always on the prowl for new pop-punk so i'll check this out

Digging: Grinning Death's Head - Blood War

SnakeDelilah
June 28th 2015


19823 Comments


didn't even know this was coming out lel

Digging: Petal - Comfort

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

They wouldn't be the 1st or last band overshadowed by The Wonder Years.



Snake, neither did I until about a week ago... hence the opening sentence, which has been unlike their previous M.O.

ShitsofRain
June 28th 2015


8007 Comments


man ur still digging pop punk?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Hell, yeah... Haven't you heard, it's coming back... Under the "so not cool, it's cool" principle.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this was a surprise. Had no fuckin clue it was even announced.





used to like the band a little bit but they're generally a pretty nondescript pop punk band compared to their peers imo

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yeah, fair call GoM... Although, they have always had a decent dual vocal dynamic going.

Mutantsnowstorm
June 28th 2015


497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not a huge fan of their voices which is what kept me from their previous work, but the instrumentation and melodies on this thing are pretty sweet

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Well said mutant. Eisenstein's nasally vocals are definitely an acquired taste. I think he's getting slightly better, but there's enough other stuff going on here to overlook him for the most part anyway.

alienobserver
June 28th 2015


3754 Comments


Defend pup ponk

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Oh yeah, I have to listen to those pup-ponkers... If I could only recall who they are.

YakNips
June 29th 2015


18935 Comments


tenement?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2015


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

That's them... those cheeky pup-ponkers.

ProjectFreak
June 29th 2015


2100 Comments


Is this more self-titled than Heart Attack?



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