So yeah…this is the semi-long awaited new studio NFG disc. In an interview not too long ago, the band promised that it would be a more mature effort than their self-titled turned out. Is it? Well, pretty much. The lyrics are a little more mature then on their previous disc, but there really aren't any surprises with them. Don't expect anything out of the ordinary with it. This disc is strictly for NFG fans; it won't change your mind of the band if you hate them already. Even though the disc has a bit more intricate guitar lines, it lacks all of the solos or even complicated guitar lines from their first major label debut, "Nothing Gold Can Stay". However, it's really hard to deny the hook and energy that the disc has. For your mediocre pop-punk disc, it's actually a pretty fun little guilty pleasure. Don't expect something fully amazing though, but surprisingly it is a nice diversion.
The disc kicks off with "Understatement", which is probably the best the disc has to offer. It's very energetic, and the hook to it is really undeniable. The lyrics are pretty sappy, but who cares if it's catchy as hell. The disc then goes into the obvious radio hit, the ultra poppy "My Friends Over You". The song isn't as trepid as "Hit or Miss", but it's definitely not something you'll want to hear more than once. The disc continues with the surprising "Sonny". The song has a poppy ring to it, but the lyrics are surprisingly very good for NFG. With its chorus of "an empty chair at all the tables / and I'll be seeing you when all my days boil down / for now we'll say goodbye / we know its not the last time / I've lost the best part of my day / but its better where you're going anyway", it sounds like NFG finally started working on lyrics again. For sure it isn't John K. Sampson, but its much better to hear that then "tell me about your first kiss…" The disc then explodes into "Something I Call Personality", which is the fastest NFG song I've ever heard. However, even thought its fast, it really lacks a hook to it. For some reason, it's difficult to get into. The cd then goes into its slower ballad, "Head On Collision". It's very reminiscent of "Eyesore" from the s/t. This song is another step in the right direction lyrically, but it gets old on you too fast. Next up is "Its Been A Summer", an energetic track that is pretty catchy, but is pretty much standard NFG. "Forget My Name" then goes. The verses and pre-chorus sound good, but the actual chorus, "Tell all my friends I'm dead…" sounds really lame for some reason. "Never Give Up" is the next one, and it has a very good pre-chorus and chorus, but the verses really lack much of a hook, they seem too rushed. Track 9 is "The Great Houdini". This is standard NFG at best, pretty forgettable. Track 10, "Singled Out" is a really hooky and catchy song, but it has a really lame intro, I mean come on, wtf is up with that? It sounds like it was taken out of a disco song. Next is "Belated", which is a mid tempo break-up song. It's not bad, but it's very typical for them. The last "real" track is "The Story So Far", and it's another slow song. It's not awful, but again, it lacks much of a hook. Now, if you decide you have enough time and patience to sit through 20 something more minutes of it, you can hear the band act like morons at the end. They pretty much say stupid things like "There's someone in your house….AHHHHH" and various other dumb things. It's really not worth all the time to get to it though, so use your trusty fast forward trick if you must hear it.
In all, this disc isn't bad. Its nowhere near amazing, but it is better than their self-titled. What really gets to me however, is the fact that the band really doesn't take many leaps anymore. There are no lead guitar lines like there are in "Tell Tale Heart" or even really anything that isn't just a cookie-cutter predictable riff. However, for the most part, the disc is pretty catchy, and sometimes, that's all you need to satisfy your audience. Even if you don't like it as a whole, it's not bad to put in on the background when you've got nothing else to listen to.