At the beginning of February, a selection of older songs from Man Overboard, a group we’d never heard of at UTG before, arrived and blew us all away. Before We Met: A Collection of Old Songs quickly became the cornerstone of our faith in new bands with talent in the pop punk genre and ever since the first listen, we’ve been waiting for more. Well, the wait for a full scale Man Overboard full length is still a few months away, but to tide us over, the guys have banded together with Run For Cover Records to digitally release the Noise From Upstairs EP. Containing 5 brand new acoustic tracks, this EP goes a long way to cement the newly found scene glory of Man Overboard, but that doesn’t mean they’re without fault.
Starting off with “Cry Baby,” a track you can have for free by downloading the new Run For Cover Sampler, the band chooses to start with subtle vocals and guitar that ease you into the EP quite well. However, its not until the gang vocal kick in that your heart is truly stolen and before that happens there is an attempt at making a simple song more complex with extra instrumentation that falls a bit flat. Up next, “Dylan’s Song” is a solid track thanks mainly to instrumentation, but its stacked directly between better songs and its hard to not feel like that track just doesn’t live up to the others. Luckily though, “210B,” arrives with a lot of turn of the Millennium pop punk ethos infused and pulls you deep into the world of Man Overboard. Its when they brush these tried and true methods of songwriting in the genre that the group really seems to shine and its most evident here as the acoustic setting showcases the group’s vocal and songwriting abilities gorgeously.
For the final two tracks, we first have “I Saw Behemoth and It Ruled” which succeeds on the storytelling front so well you’d think a much more famous band wrote it, but it doesn’t scratch the surface of the last, and best song on the record. “Dear You” is easily one of Man Overboard’s best songs to date. In the past week, the staff has collectively played this song over 100 times easily. It’s simply, eloquent, and closes with giant gang vocals that scream “this is a timeless piece of music.” Young, old, heartbroken, and in love, everyone will pull something from “Dear You” that will make them want to tell everyone they know about Man Overboard. Consider it a new age “Soco Amaretto Lime.” Yea, I said it.
While it has a few rocky moments, Noise From Upstairs is still a better offering for the genre than most of what is out there. Soupy, the vocalist of The Wonder Years, recently told UTG that Man Overboard has dozens of songs the world has yet to hear and if that’s the case, this album will sure get your musical taste buds excited. There’s simply SO MUCH HEART in each and every song that even those that fall a bit flat are hard to hate.
If you ask me, Man Overboard is the future.
Review written by: James Shotwell