Man Overboard Ė Heart Attack
Record Label: Rise Records / Lost Tape Collective
Release Date: May 28 2013
If youíre new to the pop-punk genre, itís needed defending apparently, and New Jersey outfit Man Overboard is the first band who coined the term a few years ago. I donít remember pop-punk ever needing defending, especially when the biggest pop-punk bands in the genre have been releasing records this year, such as The Wonder Years, Transit, and The Story So Far. While the genre may not need defending anymore, Man Overboard are finally back after releasing their self-titled record a couple years ago. I was fairly new to the pop-punk genre, but it was a very enjoyable record. As time has gone on, Iíve heard more pop-punk bands, and this band has kind of fallen to the wayside to me. Fortunately, third record (and second for Rise Records) Heart Attack has managed to bring me back to this band; from what the get-go, their sound has mellowed out slightly, which brings to mind bands like The Early November, and Saves the Day. Those bands mix indie and pop-punk together to make for an interesting mix. Man Overboard has seemed to take notice, and their sound has mellowed out for the most part, which I donít mind. Their use of catchy hooks, and relatable lyrics hasnít gone anywhere, but if anything, itís been amplified. The dynamic between dual vocalists Nik Bruzzese, and Zac Eisenstein is still there, and while their voices may not the best (itís pop-punk, so you canít expect much, frankly), they still complement each other nicely, and it works quite well. The lyrics are also insanely relatable, and really just about things that Man Overboard has talked about before Ė girls, why girls suck, awkwardness, self-hatred, etc, etc. Itís more or less the same kinds of lyrics we, the listeners, have gotten before, so if you didnít like their lyrics before, you probably wonít like them now. But these can apply to you, thereís no doubt youíll want to sing them as loud as you can.
The only problem with this record is that itís fourteen songs long. Now, it may not be a problem if youíre a huge fan of this band, which is great, but the problem comes in the fact that each song sounds quite similar to its predecessor, minus last track ďWide Awake,Ē which is my favorite track on the record, frankly. With the exception of that song, every song sounds quite similar. It can all run together if youíre not paying attention. If you are, there are some tracks that do stick out from the rest. First track, ďSecret Pain,Ē starts the record off nicely with both vocalists trading off lines, and a nice breezy guitar riff driving through the track. In fact, the first half of the record is rather memorable, and flows quite nicely. It all changes with eighth track, ďHow to Hide Your Feelings.Ē This is where those catchy hooks and melodies start to get rather tiring. Theyíre prevalent throughout the entire record, but the main thing that this record suffers from is that this record barely does anything different. It gets rather grating after awhile, because this band is the textbook definition of ďIf ainít broke, donít fix it.Ē Their sound works nicely, and while they have mellowed out slightly, itís still pretty straightforward and generic.
There are a lot of pop-punk bands, but this is one band that always fell to the wayside for me, despite their easily relatable lyrics and catchy hooks. There are only so many songs of the same formula that I can handle before I go crazy; I wouldnít have minded if this record was about 10 or 11 songs, but because itís 44 minutes, itís a bit too much pop-punk for my tastes. The Wonder Yearsí new record The Greatest Generation clocked in about 48 minutes, but the difference is, that record was much more than a pop-punk record. There was a lot of stuff going on in it. This one, not so much. The last track, ďWide Awake,Ē which I mentioned in the beginning of the review, is my favorite track on the record. Itís a nice sweet song for a significant other about being so far away from them. Iíll admit I get some feels while listening to this, and so itís a nice album closer, but I do applaud the band for ending the record on a different note. Literally, because this song is the most different from every track. For pop-punk fans, this record should be a hit, because this is what fans have come to expect from the band, more or less. Because itís rather similar to their earlier work, this could win a lot of new fans over as well, which is a good thing. While pop-punk is a genre thatís not quite known for its variety, a lot of bands are stepping out of their comfort zone, and despite being a few records into their career, Man Overboard is not doing anything different, or interesting, for that matter. This record may be enjoyable, but the lasting value is rather low, because it doesnít matter what record you listen to by this band, it all sounds the same.
Man overboard is one of those bands for me where the whininess is sometimes too much, but then they make up a fricken cool word like "Suppy" and have a new album that is accessible to old fans but gives much more than they're worth. Love these Jersey guys, awesome review