New Found Glory – ‘From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 3’

By Gem Rogers

In the tumultuous world of pop-punk, where bands lasting longer than a handful of years feels like a rarity, there is one thing that remains ever constant – our studded-belt-and-backpack lords and saviours, New Found Glory. The inspiration for many who’ve come (and gone) after, no rock night is ever complete without a rendition of ‘My Friends Over You’, but they aren’t just a throwback band. In New Found Glory, we are blessed with a group who manage not only to hold an iconic, retro status, but who still turn out relevant and enjoyable albums with comforting regularity.

These two sides are brought together on latest release ‘From The Screen To Your Stereo 3’ – as the imaginative title implies, it’s the second follow-up to their wildly popular and, if we’re honest, slightly culty covers album ‘From The Screen To Your Stereo’. It might pain older listeners to realise it’s been nearly twenty years since the original was released (sorry) and twelve since ‘Part 2’, where the band gave a pop-punk spin to classic film tracks like ‘The Glory Of Love’ and ‘Kiss Me’, respectively.

The idea almost feels a bit tired now, and prior to listening it elicits a few shrugs – though it’s safe to say that this third round goes in pretty hard with tunes from some of the most popular soundtracks in recent years. Mess these up, and people are going to have some words to say. And that’s where New Found Glory show their eternal quality.

Things don’t get off to the strongest of starts with a cup-less version of ‘Cups’ (‘Pitch Perfect’) – it’s not quite the opener ‘Kiss Me’ was on ‘Part 2’ and sort of loses its point in this full band format, though it’s only just under two minutes long and fun enough. All is forgotten by the time we steam our way into track two, taken from the unavoidable hit musical that is ‘The Greatest Showman’. And listen, we don’t want to spark off too heated a debate, but we’re confident in asserting that New Found Glory’s version of ‘This Is Me’ is… Well, it’s better than the original. What song could be better suited for a pop-punk makeover than an uplifting tune about accepting and owning your role as an outcast? It’s a spirited, enchanting, and joyful rendition that maintains the feeling and theatrics of the original whilst adding a dash of guitar-based bite, and if it doesn’t make an appearance in future live sets, we’ll be staging a revolt.

While you might struggle to place the soundtracks that a lot of the songs on ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ were drawn from, ‘Part 3’ is altogether more obvious – though you’d be forgiven for having forgotten that ‘Accidentally In Love’ was the theme song for ‘Shrek 2’ (we might’ve had to google it). Between ‘The Power Of Love’ (‘Back To The Future’), which sits nicely alongside their previous 80s inspired covers, ‘Let It Go’ (do we really need to say what that’s from?), and ‘A Thousand Years’, the beautiful song that is undeservedly attached to the worst film series of all time (‘Twilight’), New Found Glory have taken these beloved, instantly recognisable songs and liberally applied their unmistakable sound to reclaim the tracks as their own.

The ‘From The Screen To Your Stereo’ series is unlikely to ever win the band swathes of awards, but that’s not what they’re for. The goal is to have fun, and the musical form of a massive grin that is album closer ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ is an apt end to a record that’s sure to put plenty of smiles on faces. Out of context, the idea of a band – much less a pop-punk band – successfully churning out not one, not two, but three covers albums sounds utterly absurd, but then, there’s not many bands like New Found Glory. ‘From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 3’ is a half hour slice of pure, escapist fun, and it’s exactly what we love them for.

GEM ROGERS

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