Man Overboard releases new, mature EP

Neville Hardman

Pop-punk defenders Man Overboard are changing routes with their newest installment, “Passing Ends.” The EP dropped Tuesday Oct. 28, trading in harsh riffs for softer acousti sounds.

The EP draws inspiration from the band’s intense year, specifically when vocalist and bassist Nik Bruzzese lost his father. Bruzzese stated in an interview through Billboard that when he was alone in the studio, the songs on the EP are what they sounded like when he first played them.

Billboard streamed the songs for free this week, giving fans a hint of what is to come for the future of the band.

The songs portray raw emotion, with lyrics such as “You won’t feel better in the morning, I’ll still exist and you’ll still feel incomplete.” They show frustration, which is the band’s aim for their next full-length album according to an interview with Alternative Press. The band is seizing an opportunity to expose a different side other than five carefree guys from New Jersey.

They’re writing new songs with a different emphasis, something that contrasts past tracks, which focus on relationships and hanging out. Bruzzese and singer-guitarist Zac Eisenstein both said in the interview that the new songs would center on inner struggles, like fighting the bad things or caving to them. If anything, this EP was just a preview of the good subjects this band wants to write about.

“Passing Ends” was a pace changer from heavy instrumentals and clamoring lyrics that usually flood their music. Four acoustic songs were stripped down, creating simplicity and raw power that is able to captivate listeners and remind them that feelings are just part of living. 

The lyrics of “Secret Pain,” a track from their last album ‘Heart Attack’ went acoustic, bringing it into a new light with this version bearing a lot more emotion. It was easy to fall into a spree of hitting replay.

The other song, “Passing Ends,” while not completing the theme for a full acoustic EP, even has a different feel when compared to other songs Man Overboard has released throughout their band life. It has more meaning and emotion despite being under three minutes long. The voice behind the lyrics is a real person with pain.

The songs on this EP aren’t fun or light. They aren’t meant to be screamed at a party. They exist to be felt and related to. They are anthems for anyone who is feeling lost or in a bad place.

This EP is mature, perhaps the most mature thing the band has put out so far because of the themes. It reflects on what the band has gone through, using their hard times as influence for songs about reality. It’s impressive to see this band take this step. If Man Overboard keeps it up, only good things will come to their next album, already in the works.