Being as aware of the war America’s in as I am with the one involving pop punk, I have to ask, was ammunition needed? Shirts, tweets, Tumblr posts and everywhere else you can stick it, “Defend Pop Punk” has been a staple for some time and Man Overboard is the reason why, and it’s safe to say their tagline is being well represented with their newest, self-titled album out September 27th. Simplistic titles, relationship woes and playing on the socially impaired adults of the world, Man Overboard take these elements and pairs them with the style they’ve come synonymous with defending.
So used to titles being either drawn out to the point that they could be a novel or clever catchphrases, I was taken aback at first glance with Man Overboard. The longest clocked in at three words. The reason probably lies in the fact that it’s not about the packaging, but the product with these guys. “Rare” and The Color Fred-like “Picture Perfect” are able to hold their own without the glitterati of catchy titles.
Now to what lies inside of the simplicity. There were a handful of songs dealing with the downside of relationships that reminded me of why I never got that into Blink 182 (what? I am 24 and have had a total of one boyfriend). “Headstone” took top prize in that department, while a few stood out in the other subject matter on Man Overboard.
To touch on Blink 182 again, their fans are a lot older now and needed music to latch onto while their hiatus blew over, and that’s why I think we hear a lot of the same thing with bands like The Wonder Years, Fireworks and of course, Man Overboard. They know they’ll have a lot of 20-somethings as fans. 20-somethings who grew up with MTV telling them they were awkward. What I’m getting at is Man Overboard write to that generation, and they write to it very well. “Dead End Dreams” and “Atlas” shine with lines that play on the impotent adults, “I got nothing to show for these dead end dreams” and “I don’t feel like a grown up.” I found myself falling more and more as each line met my ears.
Modest names to ditties heavy on the liaison of love and oddities of being a “big kid” are what can be found on Man Overboard’s Man Overboard with a backdrop of pop punk to back it all up. And you’re more than likely to hear a few of these new tracks when they hit the road with almost every defender of the genres’ wet dream, the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour alongside who else? The Wonder Years, Set Your Goals, This Time Next Year and my number one reason for going, New Found Glory. I advise you add Man Overboard to your musical palette and get your tickets to see them this fall. I already have four dates and will soon add two more to my calendar on payday.
Reviewed by Kendra Beltran
Originally published on Sept 25, 2011