New Found Glory - Radiosurgery (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

New Found Glory

Radiosurgery (2011)


At this point, New Found Glory has become a pop-punk institution. They've been cranking out tunes about girls and break-ups for over a decade now. They've survived the major label death machine. If you get to open for them, you've made it. Which is why I'm not so crestfallen by Radiosurgery, the band's seventh (!!!) studio record. A supposed concept album about the different emotions one goes through during a break-up (I thought that was all of their albums?), Radiosurgery is the second worst NFG record to date, behind the ill-advised pop rock effort Coming Home.

But for a while, it doesn't seem that way. The first half of Radiosurgery is loaded with bangers sure to go over well live. "Radiosurgery" has a clunker of a chorus lyrically ("I can't get your face out of my head / It makes my brain hurt"?), but it's still super catchy. "Anthem For the Unwanted" is loaded with "whoas," a pop-punk cornerstone, while "Drill It In My Brain" opts for handclaps instead. "I'm Not the One" is standard NFG fare, but it's still bouncy and fun. "Ready, Aim, Fire!" has an awesome opening guitar riff with a slight Celtic rock quality to it, which is kind of random for NFG, but any artistic growth is better than none.

Then the record just sort of collapses in on itself. "Dumped" tries to get by on "whoas" again, but I only have so many "whoas" to give. Then the record enters creepster territory. "Summer Fling, Don't Mean a Thing" is a bitter break-up tune directed towards a lady with casual dating preferences. "Caught in the Act," featuring Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast, flips that bitterness towards desperation. "I'm caught in the act / But for tonight let's do something that we're gonna regret" goes the chorus (Is it sex? I think it's about sex!). There's something creepy about a band of guys in their early 30s singing this song to crowds likely half their age. Someone save the children.

After another three ho-hum tracks, Radiosurgery mercifully ends. There are enough worthy additions to the band's live set, but as a whole, it's a pretty uneven record. What listeners get here is essentially two EPs. One of them is solid (the record's first half); one of them is embarrassing (the second half).