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Album Review: Man Overboard - Real Talk

For some Man Overboard's new full-length is a long time coming after the New Jersey band have built a pretty good reputation through various EP releases and tours with the likes of The Wonder Years, Transit and Balance & Composure just to name a few.

With 'Real Talk' they make a big mark on the pop-punk scene with brilliant song craftmanship and overall superb understanding for the genre. From the opening of 'Real Talk', you are instantly hooked with the bands driving, melodic style that you can't help but enjoy it.

Whilst for the most part their tour companions head down a more speedy style of the genre, Man Overboard go for a more appreciative and approachable stlye, as 'World Favourite' shows; a well structured number with a hearfelt lyrics with the chorus line being "I think you're my favourite girl I've ever met". It quickly becomes apparent they certainly know how to write hooks, that draw you in straight away.

Throughout the band drive their way through in a near-effortless manner and allows you just to take it all in to enjoy. Although some might say the bands style is a mixture of Saves The Day and early Taking Back Sunday (see 'Parting Gift' and 'FM Dial Style') esepcially), tracks like 'She's Got Her Own Man Now' and 'Darkness, Everybody' manage to shine through and brings a sense of identity to the band, as their overall tone is almost faultless.

'Al Sharpton' will please those who prefer the bands more fast-paced style, with pounding drums and slaying guitars being the key attirbutes of the track. Whilst 'Montrose' is probably the one track I'd have to recommend out of any track here. With a perfect structure and continous guitar strums providing a back bone to Nik Bruzzese's charming words, "Do you take pictures off the wall, when you know I'mc coming to your room?" and a sound that leaves ther band with the potential from crossing their DIY pop-punk sound to a wider audience.

'I Like You' keeps up the momentum and backs up the amount of potential this band has, and it can definitely be argued that they have fulfilled it already. Whilst the closing track, 'Sidekick' is a soft, acoustic-based number that rounds off the album well, with its hand claps, great melodies and soft piano notes that creates a nice, intimate feel. Add to that the bands positive line of 'We could be untouchable', and you can't help but be drawn in.

'Real Talk' is one of the most consistent, enjoyable pop-punk albums you'll hear this year and have the potential to reach a wider audience, as Man Overboard do not restrict themselves interms of of musicianship and songwriting, but at the same time they manage to stick to their roots. Therefore creating a sound and a record that is filled with hooks and melodies that are instantly favourable and are backed by a strucutre that works easily. 'Real Talk' has the potential to become a future cult classic like Taking Back Sunday's 'Tell All Your Friends' or Brand New's 'Your Favourite Weapon'.


'Real Talk' by Man Overboard is available now through Bandcamp and is released in the US on Run For Cover Records and in the UK on City of Gold Records soon.

Man Overboard on MySpace, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!