Let me lay the scene for you: I’m back in my office for one of the first times since Covid shut us down about a year and a half ago. I’m literally the only person on the floor, which usually has about 500 people. I set up my laptop, log-in and decide to put on the New Found Glory advance while I get my day started. I pop in my earphones (in case anyone else shows up; one person did) and start playing Forever and Ever x Infinity…And Beyond!!!, the bonus tracks from 2020’s Forever and Ever x Infinity.
For the next 20 minutes I just sat at my desk, ignoring my monitors and just listened. I was in a completely different space. I was no longer in my office; my meeting-filled calendar vanished; it was no longer the end of summer and the stress of getting my kids and (teacher) wife ready to go back to school all just evaporated.
The six songs contained in Forever and Ever x Infinity…And Beyond!!! are New Found Glory at their finest and I’m very happy the band decided to release these tracks instead of them collecting the proverbial dust in a flash drive in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. The effort shows that a band can keep doing their thing for over two decades, do it well and keep their art sounding and feeling fresh.
One thing that has always attracted me to New Found Glory is that they write really, really good songs about love and yearning. Three of the tracks exemplify this strength so well. The ideas behind the songs are timeless and many fans, regardless of age or where they are in life can relate; either because they are dealing with the feelings now or because they can remember when they did.
The opening track, “Backseat” made me feel like I was back in university, articulating all the things that were going through my head as I tried (and usually failed) to muster up the courage to talk to the girls in my classes or on campus.
“The Last Red-Eye” is an endearing love song, showcasing the willingness of someone who is truly in love to do what they must to be with their one. Putting that person above all else.
“Puzzles” articulates the waffling so many couples go through wondering how their relationship is going and what the appropriate next steps will be. The last track, “The New Abnormal” is a song of hope, keeping their eye on the prize of reuniting with their partner in a year, despite everything that is going on in the world.
Forever and Ever x Infinity…And Beyond!!! will be released Friday September 3, 2021 via Hopeless Records.