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Album Review

What’s Eating Gilbert – That New Sound You’re Looking For

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This may not be a sound that’s ‘new’, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the one you’re looking for.

Label: Hopeless Records
Released: 10th July 2015

Rating: ★★★

What’s Eating Gilbert, the side project of New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, has had a few outings in the last few years – 7″s and demos, but nothing concrete. ‘That New Sound You’re Looking For’ isn’t exactly a leap from these tracks, but a more polished and equally fun collection, shoops and all.

‘Follow Her Around’ might as well be plucked from the Grease soundtrack, but with stalker-y tendencies peaking through its lyrics. ‘A Song About Girls’ is ‘one for the ladies’ – all of ’em in the world that inspire Chad, living life with no rules, that he can’t live without. While it’s no lyrical masterpiece, it’s as hideously catchy as the rest of the album.

‘Show Off’ channels ‘Teenage Kicks’ meets Jerry Lee Lewis, while ‘Recurring Dreams’ is – surprisingly – a song about a recurring dream. ‘Bad Mood’ is probably the sweetest sounding song whining about not taking your bad mood out on someone.

It doesn’t take long to clock that every song is lyrically what it says on the tin – with no mystique or sweeping metaphor – but musically it’s a sugar sweet homage to eras gone by. The great female vocals are the main way of distinguishing songs from one another, and those in which they feature prominently tend to be among the best. While many blend into one another, every song fits, and each is as enjoyable and catchy as the one before it.

Take one look at the album cover and vintage video for his lead single and you immediately get the entire vibe of the album; it just clicks. This may not be a sound that’s ‘new’, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the one you’re looking for. Heather McDaid