Man Overboard – Real Talk

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Man Overboard

Real Talk - Run For Cover Records

To me, Man Overboard will always be that silly little Blink 182 song tacked onto the end of The Mark, Tom & Travis Show. In fact, I almost entered into a conversation about Man Overboard with some people before I realized that they were, in reality, talking about a band called Man Overboard and not the song in question.

But based on the type of music this New Jersey band is pumping out, I doubt they’d be disappointed with the association (hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they named themselves after the song in the first place).

What I mean by that is Man Overboard is a pop-punk band pulled straight from the turn of the century. They’re proudly waiving the pop-punk flag on their first full length (after a slew of EPs and other smaller releases) and in some ways, they deliver  itwith poise and confidence; in other ways though, they deliver an all too generic and forgettable pop-punk platter.

Real Talk is an amalgamation of the pop-punk sound that first got me into this style of music. If this was 2003, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Drive-Thru Records logo on the back rather than a Run For Cover Records logo on the back. Think largely of The Starting Line with some Homegrown and Socratic thrown in for good measure. Add a dash of The Goodwill and other Negative Progression acts alongside Amazing Transparent Man and you will get a soup that comes out sounding suspiciously similar to Real Talk – and that soup is miles ahead of the new crop of pop-punk bands that Fearless andHopeless Records have been crafting.

The problem that I’m faced with is that The Starting Line, Homegrown, Socratic and The Goodwill were never really bands that I enjoyed all that much. I listened to them, they were always around and I own most of their catalogues – but really, they always felt as if they were on the bottom end of the pop-punk ladder back in the pop-punk heyday. This means that, by conjunction, Man Overboard also falls to the bottom of the pop-punk ladder.

There’s nothing overtly nauseating here. The vocals are the classic high pitched pop-punk delivery, but catchy and enjoyable. The lyrics are cliché and generic, but with a few interesting enough turns of phrases to get you to smile.

Still, Real Talk remains at the bottom of the pop-punk ladder. Of course, in today’s market, they’re halfway up the ladder rather than sitting at the bottom; but that still doesn’t mean it’s a great pop-punk album.