Review Summary: New Found Glory make a bold move to try and cover The Ramones with great success.
Back in 2008, New Found Glory released a split EP with their alter-ego hardcore side project (International Superheroes of Hardcore) titled "Takin' It Ova'," which had three covers of influential melodic hardcore bands: Gorilla Biscuits, Shelter, and Lifetime. On "Mania," NFG take a different approach and bravely take on the challenge of covering the best punk band of all time, The Ramones. The Ramones are one of the influences behind NFG, so it is no surprise that this was released. NFG even covered “Blitzkrieg Pop” for the deluxe edition of “Radiosurgery.” The goal here is not to make a statement, they have already done that. This is simply a tribute to the punk g.o.a.t., and a great one at that.
While the band doesn't nearly reach the same level of The Ramones, they do a pretty damn good job at covering them. Lead vocalist Jordan Pundik changes his voice on the album, trying to sound as much as he can to Joey Ramone, its rather frightening. In fact, the entire record sounds as close to the original material as possible while still keeping the pop-punk sound NFG does so well. Gang vocals and power cords galore, every song rolls by at a steady, quick pace. First track, "I Wanna Be Sedated" gets the album going as it stays true to the original with a pop-punk flare here and there. "Judy Is a Punk" is the only song present that sounds more like NFG then The Ramones as Pundik's nasally voice pops up ever so slightly. The track "The KKK Took My Baby Away" is the worst on the album as the repetitiveness is overwhelming and the laziness comes out for the first time, prompting a skip and ending the album on a rather sour note. The production is better than the original recordings as technology has changed drastically over the years. It’s not that much of a stretch today that if The Ramones were around today, this is what they would sound like.
Despite the rigorously boring closing track, "Mania" is a terrific cover EP, as New Found Glory do everything mostly right. There were several times I had to make sure it was indeed NFG, and not The Ramones themselves. The two sound that close to each other. New Found Glory does all but disrespect The Ramones as they release a tribute worth remembering.