Since 2010, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert has found time to release five EPs and a smattering of singles with his retro-rock side project What's Eating Gilbert. With so much material already out there, it's hard to believe that 2015's Back to the Future-referencing LP That New Sound You're Looking For is actually the band's first full-length album. Gilbert's concept for the band is to meld classic '50s- and '60s-influenced rock with pop-punk energy and he achieves it, more or less, with a set of simple, hooky tunes that rarely last more than two-and-half-minutes. Sporting the visual aesthetic of a tattooed Eddie Cochran (vintage tuxedo, old hollow body Gibson, etc.), and aiming for some Marty McFly moxie, he cranks up the distortion to deliver peppy young-love throwbacks like "The Way She Loves Me," "Who Do You Love," and "Recurring Dreams." More than anything, though, That New Sound You're Looking For sounds like a fairly straightforward power pop album, with songs like the lead single "You're the Most" resembling a punkish Del Amitri more than Buddy Holly. That song, along with many others, features vocal contributions from backup singer Kaitlyn DiBenedetto (aka Just Kait), playing on both the pop-punk "he said/she said" trope as well as adding the occasional doo wop-style backing part. In all, it's a pleasant experiment that doesn't take itself too seriously. Even if the songs come across as a bit innocuous at times, Gilbert has a knack for fun, catchy melodies, and this record has those in spades.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger