Review by Shannon Shumaker
Man Overboard have once again managed to release some amazingly fresh, heartfelt tracks with their newest EP, Passing Ends. It seems that, with every new release, Man Overboard’s sound seems to evolve and change, and these five tracks are no exception. While four out of the five songs on Passing Ends are acoustic (which was an interesting, but not poor choice on the band’s part) they manage to sound fuller and more matured with this release, branching away from their most recent LP, Heart Attack.
The acoustic first track on the EP, “Twenty Years” sounds more grown-up than Man Overboard’s previous releases, but while the song is more on the melancholy side, it also hangs onto Man Overboard’s unique sound and niche that they’ve created for themselves in the pop-punk scene. The title track, “Passing Ends,” is the only full-band, non acoustic song on the EP, and while it’s much slower and less upbeat than Man Overboard’s usual sound, it’s absolutely a solid track.
As usual, the vocal harmonies between Nik Bruzzese and Zac Eisenstein are flawless, and the acoustic tracks on Passing Ends just elevate them. The soft guitars give the vocals a real chance to shine, all without fading into the background. “For Vince” is especially strong in this aspect - the simple drum beat, the gorgeous acoustic part and the perfect vocal harmonies are all amazing. Man Overboard have always been great at writing catchy, heartfelt songs, and “For Vince” is absolutely no exception.
The only downside with this EP is that the usual energy that can be found in Man Overboard’s sound isn’t quite there - while these songs are well written and heartfelt, they just don’t seem to have a kick to them. That being said, though, every track on Passing Ends does sound different - both individually unique and different from Man Overboard’s past work. It’s always great to watch bands grow with each new release, and Passing Ends is mellow, matured and definitely a great growth for Man Overboard.
Listen to "For Vince"