New Found Glory

Tip of the Iceberg/Takin' It Ova!

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New Found Glory's album-and-a-half Tip of the Iceberg/Takin' It Ova! consists of an EP packaged along with a full-length album. It comes across as a bit of an odd combination at first -- why not a double disc, or separate releases? -- but the reasoning could have been to play up the set's comic-book references. In addition to the artwork on the cover and in the liner notes, the band itself transforms as it moves from EP to album, right down to crediting the former to New Found Glory and the latter to "the International Superheroes of Hardcore." While the former features the hardcore-tinged punk-pop that is familiar to fans of the group, the album is where things get interesting. In a departure from their usual lighthearted sound, New Found Glory launch into a relentless assault on Takin' It Ova!, pounding and howling with an aggressive hardcore punk sound that is so different as to be downright stunning. (Indeed, the approach is such a switch from the group's 2006 release, Coming Home, that it could be mistaken for a completely different band.) Their past work may have shared some of the more frenetic sounds from the raucous style, but Takin' It Ova! marks one of the first times (if not the first time) that they've made an entire album this way. Hardcore purists may not be pleased by their approach, however. New Found Glory do it all with a knowing wink; they're not quite mocking the genre, but they certainly aren't attempting to break into it, as is obvious from the lyrics. After announcing themselves with "ISHC Theme Song," New Found Glory take on all comers -- knocking screamo and fashion slaves, chastising users of profanity, even calling out delinquent eBay buyers, all with a healthy dose of humor. On "Superhero Sellouts," for example, vocalist Chad Gilbert (aka Captain Straight Edge) calls out Hollywood for its superhero obsession (name-checking everything from Spiderman to Judge Dredd), but does an about-face immediately after by praising the heroic deeds of Indiana Jones on "Just Like Dr. Jones." Between this and songs that can best be described as musical public service announcements (the anti-drug "Captain Straight Edge" and vehicle safety reminder "Seat Belt"), it's obvious that New Found Glory just want to have some fun with this collection. That's just fine -- the album is better for it.

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