American pop-punk band Man Overboard just released their fourth full-length studio album, and I am extremely impressed. The band’s latest LP, titled Heavy Love, was released on June 30th and features 12 amazing tracks. Typically, I am not a huge fan of punk music, but I have to say, this album truly won me over.
Heavy Love opens with a really catchy, upbeat track named “Now That You’re Home.” This track is undoubtedly guitar-driven, and the melody reminds me of The All-American Rejects’ 2005 hit “Dirty Little Secret.” Some of the lyrics in this track include “Now that you’re home, you know I want to be with you / Wherever you roam, I need you and you need me too.” “Now That You’re Home” combines angsty pop-punk instrumentals with romantic lyrics to create an amazing opener for this album.
The album’s next track is titled “Borderline,” and it is a perfect way for Man Overboard to keep their upbeat, energetic momentum going. The lyrics in this song talk about achieving freedom, and frontmen Nik Bruzzese and Zac Eisenstein sing “I will not let us down, I will get myself free / I will get myself free, I will get myself / Free as the day that you found me.” This track is truly liberating and makes the listener want to stop what they’re doing and run wild and free all over town.
“Reality Check” is one of the most rock-sounding tracks on the album. This track is extremely fast-paced and definitely one that you could headbang to. The melody is infectiously contagious and is paired with a strong and powerful drum beat that consistently drives the track. In addition, whenever I listen to this song, I feel as if I am instantly transported into the middle of a mosh pit at Warped Tour. The chorus of this track includes the lyrics “They could be the one, they could be the one / Shut em out, shut em down / Here comes something not so friendly / Make it clear it’s not pretend.”
“Splinter” starts off with a bang, as electric guitars and drums are instantly used at full volume as soon as the song begins. While Man Overboard never says the word “splinter” in this song, this track still has great lyrics that tell a detailed story. Some of these lyrics include “Left her car unlocked, staying outside / Still no sign of him – she feels alright / She went back home again to compare with the place she’s in / Staring at her car under the streetlight.” This song transports me into the middle of a most pit as well and sends off hardcore punk vibes, similar to the previous track.
After “Splinter” comes the most sinister track on the album, “The Note.” The electric guitar is extremely prominent in this song and takes over everything else in the music’s composition. However, the chorus is still as catchy as ever and has a great melody. The frontmen of the band sing depressing lyrics, such as “Cause I the lost one will never feel whole / And I will wander the earth like a broken soul / And I will wait for the better days to come / Cause I’m the lost one.” This track features the perfect mix between an upbeat punk instrumental and meaningful lyrics which creates a great record.
“Cliffhanger” is definitely the most hard-rock/metal sounding track on Heavy Love. The entire song contains a fierce electric guitar, in addition to a strong and rhythmic drum beat. It includes lyrics such as “I realized I’m a natural second best / And whatever is against me, I’ll appear as something less / I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m depressed / And whatever’s in front of me I’ll see as something less” in the chorus. This track is even slightly influenced by screamo music, as the words “something less” are screeched at the top of the lead singers’ lungs every time the words appear in the song.
There is a great contrast between “Cliffhanger” and the next song on the album, “She’s In Pictures.” “She’s In Pictures” is similar to your typical pop-punk song and has an epic anthemic feel to it. It is extremely guitar-driven in the chorus and surprisingly bass-heavy throughout the verses. The drummer crashes on the cymbals quite a lot in this track, and somehow this sound becomes one of the most distinct parts of the song. “She’s In Pictures” features lyrics that are a little bit all over the place, such as “I just love her name / I never really sleep, thought about it on the plane / And I draw it different ways / There was a little good weather but it never really stayed.” Nonetheless, these lyrics are intriguing and fully engage the listener throughout the entire song.
Heavy Love‘s eighth track “Invisible” goes back to the same hard-rock vibes that were present in “Cliffhanger.” There is a very strong drum presence on this track that is undoubtedly noticeable to any listener. Once again, some of the lyrics in this song are screamed as well, similar to “Cliffhanger” and other screamo songs. The lyrics in this track include the phrases “Where’d you go? I remember when we were invincible with hearts of gold / We rarely knew the pain to be true / And you were so scary cause I knew that’d lose you one day.”
The next track on the album, “Deal,” has a much different sound than any of the previous tracks on Heavy Love. This song is definitely one that I can see myself stomping my feet to since there is a very strong emphasis on the downbeat of every beat. Lead singers Nik and Zac sing “I can’t win or fix myself again / So deal with my imperfections,” a lyric that is relatable to many listeners all around the world.
“Anything” is one of the quirkiest songs on this album. While the verses have a very strong rock foundation, the chorus has a much stronger pop influence. In addition, the tempo of this song slows down considerably in the bridge, and the song momentarily becomes a ballad. This track is definitely not like the rest, which is why it is one of my favorites on Heavy Love.
The second to last track on Heavy Love, “For Jennie,” frightened me a bit as soon as I heard the sinister guitar at the beginning of the verse. I really like the lyrics of this song, which include “If you don’t feel the pain by now that you swept away / Hope for the best and burn it like a memory that I’ve lost / The time will pass / If you don’t see the light right now then it’s sure to fade / This season puts me away like a criminal that I am, that I’ve become.” These are some of my favorite lyrics from the entire album, and they make this song another one of my favorites.
Heavy Love‘s closer is an energetic punk track called “A Love That I Can’t Have.” This track has somewhat of a haunting vibe to it, and many of the guitar parts are strummed quite heavily. The song’s chorus, “You’ll be calling for me or yelling at me / The two just seem so similar / I’ve been crossing oceans and killing tyrants / For a love that I can’t have,” is sung in a fun melody that draws the words out and makes them last longer than usual. This quality makes “A Love That I Can’t Have” the perfect end to this pop-punk album.
After listening to Heavy Love, I can definitely say that I am a fan of Man Overboard. They have an incredible sound and are extremely energetic, both of which are proven in this album. If you are a fan of pop, punk, or rock music, I highly recommend that you have a listen!