I recently mentioned how bad NFG let me down in high school with Coming Home. They have since put out a second edition of From the Screen to Your Stereo, the triumphant Not Without A Fight, the dreadfully boring Radiosurgery and most recently Resurrection. Radiosurgery was their attempt at reliving their youth with some fun and simple songs, which came across as a severe lack of effort. Resurrection, well, I really don’t know. I heard a couple songs, didn’t care, and went on about my business. It wasn’t a BAD record, it just wasn’t an interesting record. Sounded like their entire career’s worth of B-sides.
Can we just accept that these guys are in their late 30’s and the pop-punk thing just isn’t working for them? They tried to explore new ground with Coming Home, but it was the wrong record at the wrong time. I would rather see another nod to easycore like Not Without a Fight or to try something completely foreign to them. That’s more easily said than done, but something’s gotta give here.
Steve was kicked out of the band on some odd charges that were bad for PR, and I don’t think they have recovered. I’ve seen them live twice since, and it’s not great. They never replaced him, and whatever he brought to the table with writing could be the missing piece. Or they are just old now.
Onto the actual song. “Happy Being Miserable” is old news, and it was released this week. Nothing new at all. The guitar work isn’t interesting at all. Chad used to play the fun melody parts. Perhaps they are writing material that sounds good with their current 4-piece lineup? The songs suffer for it. Just hire someone. I’m available… The melody driven part of the intro is all on keyboard, which is not something NFG has been shy of. Not a point of contention for me. There’s a simple guitar solo. Also not an issue to me. It’s about how I feel like I’ve heard this already. The verses have a very Catalyst vibe, which is cool. But the chorus hits and it feels like nothing happened at all.
Jordan is bathed in a pool of pitch correction. He can’t hit the notes anymore. I’ve seen him try in person (about a dozen times over the last 10 years) and he is fading fast. Guys, just tune the guitars down a little. The vocal track is layered so heavily that it comes off disingenuous. Jordan always made up for his lack of vocal talent with sincerity, personality, and passion. These last few records feel like a betrayal of the relationship we’ve built with his vocals. We accepted that he was trying his best and not great, and it made the band what they were.
Upside, Cyrus and Ian sound incredible as usual. They seem to be aging well as musicians. This music… not so much. Maybe I’m expecting too much from a 20 year old punk band that in all reality was lucky to have survived 10. Major downside, I can’t stand cinematic music videos that feature a lot of things that aren’t music.