April 11, 2008

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New Found Glory, Hits
Geffen Records, March 11
Doesn’t matter if you dress up your jewel case inserts with shiny happy violent boxing guys or an unobtainable chick, emo can’t be anything but emo, a speed-blurred but thoroughly non-punk experience that relies on successful singles more than old Motown did (sure, the punchline is that these bands don’t really do singles in the classic Billboard sense but instead surround single lonely excellent songs with entire albums of filler. But whatever.). The occasion here is ten years of New Found Glory, meaning, if you’ll pardon a second term utterly incongruous with anything that wants to be thought of as punk, it’s greatest-hits time. These guys started in 1997, same as de facto genre godfathers Thursday, and they’ve had some good moments, probably as many as Good Charlotte if anyone’s keeping track. The thrashiness of “Hit or Miss (Waited Too Long)” is drenched in Hoobastank syrup, but the intolerably catchy refrain is what could have resulted if the Everly Brothers had grown up feeling alienated from the hip-hop cattle at school. Their most majestic anthem, the synth-plowed “Failure’s Not Flattering,” is here also. B+Eric W. Saeger