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New Found Glory: Catalyst

Florida punk-pop band New Found Glory wisely tries to shake up its formula sound by expanding into some occasional ballads and some synth-driven new wave here. The group still sticks relatively close to polished punk form, but give them a nod for being more musically adventurous at times. Carry-over fans will still enjoy the ride, but the band's lyrical shortcomings are becoming more noticeable. Singer Jordan Pundik turns his nasal whine toward many songs in which he sounds like a condescending twerp. The self-righteousness toward women is grating. The song "This Disaster" has the line "Your body is tired and falling apart at the seams." Oh, how sweet. Elsewhere are such patronizing lines as "You could ruin any mood just by saying what's on your mind" and "For once you should listen and care what I think or I'll be gone before you can blink." Who is this guy kidding? It's regrettable to see such lunkhead posturing. The song that rings the most true has nothing to do with romance. It's "No News Is Good News," which rips the tabloid culture that has taken over TV. "I wonder why only disasters flood the headlines/ Other people's miseries are on for the next three hours commercial free -- I can't take much more of this," sings Pundik in the truest, least self-conscious song on the album. Maybe New Found Glory should increase its social observation next time around. New Found Glory performs at the WBCN River Rave at the Tweeter Center on Sunday.

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