Twenty years into their career, New Found Glory maintain their energy and playfulness on their ninth set, Makes Me Sick. The Florida quartet packs harmony upon melody, forgoing much of the crunch from 2014's Resurrection: Ascension. Instead, Makes Me Sick is a peppy romp through pop-punk. There's a lot of nostalgic fuzzies here, despite fresh sounds and ideas like the tropical calypso moment on "The Sound of Two Voices." Jordan Pundik and the gang employ '80s synths atop the typical NFG pogo-punk sound, which brightens the album. Like the cover art of a desert island with a lone palm tree, Makes Me Sick is perfectly suited for breezy summer days. The opening triad of "Your Jokes Aren't Funny," "Party on Apocalypse," and "Call Me Anti-Social" sounds like the poppiest collision of Motion City Soundtrack and Paramore, while "Blurred Vision" stretches the NFG sound as far as sparkling indie rock. "Barbed Wire" provides the most muscle, but even that track glitters through the crunchy riffs. For diehards who have grown with the band over the decades, this softer and more buoyant sound should be a welcome maturation. Like similar late-era "comebacks" from Less Than Jake, blink-182, and Simple Plan, Makes Me Sick reminds listeners of New Found Glory's place in pop-punk history and provides an endearing new addition to their legacy.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung