After twelve years, most bands are either thinking of ending their careers or still trying to make hits that they know people (and their fans) will buy. New Found Glory has enough of a fan base that despite the album leaking months before the release date, thousands upon thousands bought the album on its street date. As a new fan to the band, I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about until I looked these guys up. This band has been around for just over a decade and is still churning out records left and right, touring relentlessly and hitting up festivals over the summers as always. So the question comes down to this: does New Found Glory still have it?
First off, let me just say that records after a greatest hits album can sometimes be rough on an artist. Fans can be ruthless, asking for old sounds in a new world, especially when a band has been around for 12 years like NFG. Going back with Mark Hoppus as their producer for Not Without a Fight, he’s gone on record to say that the band has felt much different, “bearing a whole new enthusiasm about music.” Evidence of this is seen on the album’s lead single, “Listen To Your Friends”, a straight pop/punk song that showcases all the band’s talents vocally, lyrically, and musically. It’s probably one of the best tracks on the record, which makes it seem fitting that they picked it for the first single. Many songs showcase teenage and young love, including the surefire hit “47”, in which features the chorus of, “I called 46 times, and you answered on the 47th”. The band seems big on keeping kids enthused about sticking with their friends, since many of the songs seem to talk about a break up and then friends coming to help out. This is a definitely positive message that kids can pick up from this band, which shines light in so many dark places.
Steady beats and raw guitars abound on tracks like “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” and “Tangled Up”, and pretty soon after only a brief 17 minutes, you’re already half way through the album. Sad to say, the album goes quite quickly after the sixth track as well, but the songs are still just as good as the first half. “Reasons” boasts an acoustic guitar over a punk-flavored chorus to make a decent ballad, and probably has the best vocals from lead singer Jordan Pudnik on the record. Overall, Not Without A Fight showcases some excellent tracks from the veteran band, and proves they’re around for the long run, kind of like their friends MxPx, who seem to also have been around for ever and a day. This band isn’t going anywhere yet, watch out.
Star Rating: 4 out of 5