New Found Glory

Not Without A Fight

Written by: PP on 10/03/2009 17:43:45

Before we dissect this sucker, here's a quick rundown of events leading up to the release of New Found Glory's sixth studio album "Not Without A Fight", one of the most highly anticipated albums this year. Two and a half years ago in late 2006, the band unleashed their fifth studio album "Coming Home", which signaled a complete change in direction from the band's hardcore-rooted pop punk sound into the then-trendy overproduction of all instruments and generally a safer and sleeker sound. While the die-hard fans will still say it was a good album, it really only had a couple of decent songs while the rest was dangerously close to filler, and most importantly, fun had been exchanged with mature seriousness. Not good according to most people. The band then parted ways with Drive-Thru Records, and kept relatively quiet until spring last year, when they unleashed their hardcore sideproject International Superheroes of Hardcore as a bonus disc to their excellent return-to-form EP "Tip Of The Iceberg". Then a few months ago, "Listen To Your Friends" was uploaded on Myspace, and all of a sudden everyone became overly excited. Was it really possible for New Found Glory to re-invent their old glory days? Would they go back to "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and write another classic? The questions that demanded answers were aplenty, and the waiting time seemed endless. So, I hear you asking, what came out of it? Where does it rank in their discography? Well, it's better than "Coming Home", "Catalyst", and perhaps a teeny weeny bit better than "Sticks & Stones". That's the short answer, the long answer follows here.

The album opener is titled "Right Where We Left Off", an accurate description of what's really going on here. The gang shouts and aggressive guitars, which were a first for the band on the EP, form a major part of the band's repertoire throughout the record. Given that the band are now on Epitaph, they've obviously felt that they're now allowed to sound both harder and faster than the last couple of albums. There's stuff here that rivals their fast songs like "Understatement" in pace, and a few songs that are heavier than any previous output both instrumentally and vocally, "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" being a good example here. It's full of gang shouts and may even scare away some of younger fans of the band.. that or it'll introduce them to a heavier version of pop punk with the potential of drawing them further into the world of punk rock. Anyway, the point is this: If "Coming Home" was pop punk with spotlight on the pop, "Not Without A Fight" is clearly the opposite, with almost all focus on punk, coupled with a strong old school hardcore nuance as well. That's exactly the direction that most fans had hoped them to evolve towards before the previous album, so it's great that they've answer right back with a bombastic record, which is more in the direction of a band like Set Your Goals than Yellowcard.

The first six songs... oh, who am I kidding. Every song on the record is pretty damn solid. Perhaps there aren't any mega hits like "Hit Or Miss" or "Dressed To Kill", but there's lots of stuff here rivaling classic New Found Glory songs like "It Never Snows In Florida" or "My Friends Over You". Some examples of excellent hook-laden pop punk godhood are "Reasons", "Tangled Up", "Such A Mess", and especially the fast punk rocker "Truck Stop Blues", which is easily the best song on the album, so there's plenty of songs that'll claim their place in your New Found Glory-obsessed heart. Critics may call that running back with tail between the legs, but I call this the real "Coming Home" for New Found Glory.


Download: Truck Stop Blues, Listen To Your Friends, Such A Mess
For the fans of: Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.03.2009

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