After a band is around for a while, it becomes hard to live up to their fans expectations. The band may want to take their music in a different direction or change this or change that, which can lead to many fans being disappointed. I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but I fall into this category of disappointment after New Found Glory’s previous release of Coming Home. So, when I heard NFG was releasing a new album, I was skeptical but excited. I could only hope that NFG would bring back that pop-punk and hardcore style that I have enjoyed over so many years and luckily, they have done just that with their latest release Not Without A Fight.
With this new album, New Found Glory really brings back their sound that defined records like Sticks and Stones and Catalyst. The first few songs pretty much sum up what this album is about. “Right Where We Left Off” features an on-going catchy rhythm/lead guitar and chorus, “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” displays a high pitched guitar riff and the chanting of “DONT! LET! HER! (pull you down)”, and lastly “Listen To Your Friends” is the type of song most people expect from New Found Glory: fast paced instrumentals, an extremely catchy pre-chorus and overall style as well as a good message of “listen to your friends!”
As the album continues, I think some of the songs can be easily over looked. For example, after my first listen of “47,” I thought the song was extremely cheesy saying “I called you 46 times..and you answered on the 47th.” After a few more listens, this song has easily become my favorites on the record. This same thinking can be applied to the song “Reasons” which starts off with a quick, acoustic guitar rhythm and one can only handle so much of Jordan Pudnik’s voice.
“Not Without A Fight” has a little something here and there for the “hardcore” kids–somewhat similar to songs off of their “Tip Of The Iceberg” EP. Songs like “Such A Mess” and “47” display some palm muted guitar riffs in the verse and in the breakdown that is sure to get kids going at shows. There is also a lot more group chanting than previous New Found Glory albums seen in songs “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down”, “47”, “Don’t Let This Be The End.”
If fans are expecting New Found Glory to progress and change their sound a bit considering they’ve been around for a while, this album has none of that. It is straight up pop-punk and that is what New Found Glory does best. The songs off of this album could easily be a continuation off of previous New Found Glory records, so don’t expect anything really “new” from New Found Glory. Overall, “Not Without A Fight” is a fairly strong record that I believe most fans will enjoy.
1. Right Where We Left Off
2. Don’t Let Her Pull You Down
3. Listen To Your Friends
5. Truck Stop Blues
6. Tangled Up
7. I’ll Never Love Again
9. Such A Mess
10. Heartless At Best
11. This Isn’t You
12. Don’t Let This Be The End