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Album Review: Heavy Love by Man Overboard

Emo pop-punks Man Overboard have released their third album Heavy Love. It’s a blistering 39 minutes of pop-punk hooks, riffs and big emotional lyrics. Man Overboard set themselves out from their contemporaries with Heavy Love due to its power and infectiousness. This is the best album (in its genre) released in 2015.

From the opening chords of opener ‘Now That You’re Home’ you know that Heavy Love is going to be a brilliant album. The opener takes a gentler feel, easing you into the infectious hooks and delectable guitar parts that the album has in abundance. ‘Borderline’ gets the blood pumping with its simmering and pumping energy.

Man Overboard aren’t your average pop-punk band, while they may conform to many of the genre’s stereotypes, it’s the emo element that set them out from the crowd and make them such a compelling listen. You get the first real glimpse of emo on the stunning ‘Reality Check’, a lovelorn tale of another girl getting away; the lyrics are sung with such passion that you can’t help but sucked in. ‘Splinter’ takes it up a notch, marrying the instantaneous pop-punk hooks with emotion and some excellent riffs. It’s on ‘The Note’ that Man Overboard really excel though, it’s a phenomenal song. The churning guitars give the track a fantastic energy before exploding in style for the hooks and chorus while the drums pound with a ferocious vigour that combine to send shivers down your spine. You can’t ignore the lyrics, they’re wrought with emotion, with lines like ‘I really want to vacate myself’ and ‘I will wander the earth like a broken sole’ giving the track a dark side. ‘Cliffhanger’ keeps up the emo lyrics with an assessment of depression and introspection with the duelling vocals of Nik Bruzzese and Zac Eisentein working wonderfully. Musically it shows a more aggressive side to the band.

Large croped man overboard batofar paris 2015

Imagine the bastard love child of Blink-182, My Chemical Romance (Three Cheers For Sweet Romance era) and Taking Back Sunday and you’ll be close to the sound of Man Overboard. Take ‘She’s In Pictures’ and ‘Invisible’ as examples, there’s nods to all three in the structure, hooks and lyrical content yet it comes out sounding unique and utterly compelling. They are two of the most accessible and straightforward songs on the album yet you’ll find them standing strong beside anything else released this year. There’s a late highlight in the superb ‘Anything’, again the duelling vocals and harmonies are thrilling, the delightfully poppy breakdown before the first hook makes you break out in a grin before you want to through yourself around with reckless abandon. ‘For Jennie’ takes up the lost love theme and throws out some of the most infectious hooks of Heavy Love while ‘A Love That I Can’t Have’ takes it queue from My Chemical Romance and delivers all the emo-pop grandeur that would be expected.

While the band sing ‘I would do anything to make you stay forever’ and ‘I would do anything to make you smile’ on ‘Anything’, they certainly have succeed in doing that with me. Heavy Love will engrain itself in your head and not let go. You’ll have it on repeat wanting more with each listen. Superb stuff.

AD Rating 9/10

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