April 29, 2019 New Found Glory – From the Screen to Your Stereo 3 (EP Review)
Pop Punk is not dead! A band who are known for a little something called personality, New Found Glory is ready to deliver the third installment of their much-beloved From the Screen to Your Stereo series. You will believe in the power of love on Friday, May 3, 2019, thanks to Hopeless Records.
Proudly formed in Coral Springs, Florida in 1997, New Found Glory (NFG) has been making high energy, infectiously catchy Pop Punk for the past two decades. In 1999, they released their debut, Nothing Gold Can Stay, but it was 2002’s Sticks and Stones, their third album, that broke the band into the mainstream. With a grand total of nine studio albums, most recently 2017’s Makes Me Sick, the band has built an impressive fan-base for themselves. At the upper echelon of their craft, New Found Glory — Vocalist Jordan Pundik, Guitarist Chad Gilbert, Bassist Ian Grushka, and Drummer Cyrus Bolooki — are titans of Pop Punk and known for their raucous live shows that are guaranteed to put a smile on even the most dour face.
Back in 2000, the band opted to release a special collection of covers linked to classic films, entitled From the Screen to Your Stereo. Taking on everyone from Cyndi Lauper (The Goonies) and Bryan Adams (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) to Celine Dion (Titanic), the EP was a hysterically fun offering that became much in demand. The success of this first installment led to From the Screen to Your Stereo 2, which arrived in 2007 and featured covers of Sixpence None the Richer (She’s All That), Lisa Loeb (Reality Bites), Simple Minds (The Breakfast Club), and more.
For the latest installment in the series, the 7-song From the Screen to Your Stereo 3, NFG kicks off, guns a-blazin’ with “Cups.” You know the song thanks to Anna Kendrick and 2012’s Pitch Perfect, though it dates back to 1931 and the Carter Family, whose original was entitled “When I’m Gone.” New Found Glory’s take on the track amps the pace to an upbeat trot that flies by at just under two minutes. While definitely not the best of the original tracks on the collection, the band’s cover injects that something extra into the song and makes it fully enjoyable.
Giving the next song the full Pop Punk treatment, NFG place their own stamp onto “This Is Me.” Sure, it’s recognizable as the soaring theme from 2017’s The Greatest Showman, but it also receives an invigorating makeover that leaves it fitting into the quartet’s oeuvre flawlessly. In fact, this is one of the clear stand-outs on the collection, and an obvious choice for a single and video — which is witty. (Nice legs, Grushka!)
They dip down into some bass-heavy grooves for their take on the 1985 Huey Lewis and the News classic “The Power of Love,” which was of course connected to Back to the Future. Complete with those signature keyboard licks, the guys rock through the song with the zest necessary to mimic the great Huey Lewis.
Next, little ones everywhere can rejoice! Elsa and Anna have inspired the band to place their own spin on the Frozen (2013) epic “Let It Go.” (Yes, Pundik does admit that he’s the queen and a good girl!) While it’s certainly an interesting inclusion, it lacks a bit of the (massive) personality that they are able to inject into more mature classics.
For the Counting Crows offering “Accidentally In Love,” which originally appeared on the 2004 Shrek 2 soundtrack, the band rock out with multiple layers of harmony. While they stay fairly close to the original, the zest and over-exuberance that one might expect from placing New Found Glory and Shrek into the same sentence is a bit lacking. Surely the band, like ogres, have layers?
The beautiful Christina Perri love song “A Thousand Years,” which was featured in 2011’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, receives an appropriately emotional reworking. While the pace is sped to suit the needs of the quartet, the sincerity of emotion remains intact. Though, ultimately, they turn this on its head and go out with glory and “Eye of the Tiger.” The 1982 Rocky III-inspired hit from Survivor provides the perfect upbeat, energetically rocking finale to the collection.
Considering New Found Glory are the kings of charisma and always so stinking hilarious, maybe we’re splitting hairs here but From the Screen to Your Stereo 3 feels a bit hit or miss (pun very much intended). Considering that previous installments in this series crushed covers from such timeless classic films as The Goonies, The Neverending Story, The Breakfast Club, and Titanic, an album that turns to films like Pitch Perfect and Shrek 2 for sonic inspiration feels a little, well, lackluster. Do the band do the songs justice? Sure, nothing is bad here; it’s just a little less enthusiastic than one would expect. Whereas previous track-listings offered a wide array of sounds and each individual track had its own personality, From the Screen to Your Stereo 3 can feel like a lot of the same. Upbeat, good for a smile, but not an Academy Award winner, Cryptic Rock give From the Screen to Your Stereo 3 3.5 of 5 stars.