Without trying to make my reaction seem greater than it is, let me start by saying that I really like the new New Found Glory record Not Without A Fight. Critics much cooler than I will probably say this sounds just like every other New Found Glory record and leave it at that, but that would be a mistake. To brush off Not Without A Fight so quickly and easily, especially if you aren’t a fan of the pop punk genre, is taking the easy way out. It might be hard for some to admit, but there is something different about this album.
I first met the guys from New Found Glory when I was on tour with Allister in the summer of 1999 at the Drive-Thru house in Sherman Oaks, CA and I’ve seen them at least every few years since then. They’ve slept on the floor of my apartment, I’ve had drinks with them on their tour bus, and we even went to see Final Destination at the theater with them. Throughout the years Jordan, Chad, Steve, Ian, and Cyrus may have found fame and fortune, but I always thought they were unfairly pegged as one of those throwaway “teeny-bopper” bands.
New Found Glory has, despite the radio-ready sheen and polish that many of their albums have, always been a hardcore-influenced pop punk band. I mean, Chad Gilbert was in Shai Hulud for crying out loud and the band is the alter ego of the ISHC. Still, New Found Glory has gone from indie to major and back to indie, even if Epitaph is anything but small, and have not only lived to tell about it but have come out better because of it with Not Without A Fight in hand.
On Not Without A Fight (their sixth full length album) New Found Glory almost sounds like a band that just got a new lease on life. The band sounds revitalized and re-energized. Don’t get me wrong, the band hasn’t just released a groundbreaking concept album, this is still pop punk. New Found Glory’s core elements are still here but they seem to have embraced a bit more of their hardcore roots more so than on any album since their debut Nothing Gold Can Stay, my personal favorite from their catalog.
Even so, New Found Glory doesn’t stray much from the formula that got them near the top of the charts. As pointed out by Adam, New Found Glory is nothing if not consistent. Sure NFG doesn’t really move outside of their comfort zone, but neither did Bad Religion, The Descendents, The Lemonheads, or so many other bands that simply stick with what they do well. I’ve never heard critics criticize The Smiths because all their albums just sound like variations of one another. Critics dislike New Found Glory because they play pop punk; music most critics think is just a bit (or a lot) too juvenile for them.
Well, it ain’t too juvenile for me. In fact, I’m just about to order the record on camo vinyl. Not Without A Fight features more breakdowns, better vocals, and better songs than their last few releases. There are some great singles on the album, “Tangled Up” sounds less like a New Found Glory song than anything I’ve heard from them, and “Don’t Let This Be The End” makes me want to play the whole damn thing over again. What other reason do you need?
MP3 | New Found Glory – Listen To Your Friends Not Without A Fight