NFG wins the “Fight” by TKO
For the last decade or so, New Found Glory has been one of the staples of the “pop-punk” genre and continues to influence numerous bands that spring onto the musical scene. Their latest album, Not Without A Fight, makes the statement that they aren’t going anywhere and accurately showcases why they won’t be the next band to fizzle out in an ever-evolving musical landscape.
New Found Glory has successfully combined the “sounds” from their previous ventures into one sonically cohesive album. The introductory track, “Right Where We Left Off,” hooks you from the opening guitar riff and assures the listener New Found Glory is back to doing what they do best: creating fist-pounding, roll-the-window-down songs that will grab anyone’s attention. Songs like “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” and the first single, “Listen To Your Friends” have the spirit of their self-titled release with cautionary tales of girls with bad intentions and infectious choruses that will have you singing along word for word.
Other songs like “I’ll Never Love Again” and “Such A Mess” resemble last year’s hardcore-influenced Tip Of The Iceberg EP with hard-crunching guitars and drum beats that hit you square in the chest and leave you breathless. Even when New Found Glory wants to slow down the pace of the album with more melodic songs like “Reasons” and “Heartless At Best,” they don’t ruin the flow of the album and allow a welcome reprieve before the next track picks the speed back up.
Lyrically, the LP is a bit cheesy at times. The track “47” details one failed phone call attempt after another, and lines like “Maybe our intentions were wrong from the start/So answer me so we don’t fall apart‚” may be cringe-inducing to some. However, New Found Glory has never been one to write poetically intricate lyrics with some deeper, more profound meaning. Their words are simple, get straight to the point, and are honest enough for anyone to be able to relate to them.
The album’s producer, Mark Hoppus (of Blink-182 fame), has created an album that isn’t over-produced yet still allows every instrument to shine on each track. With so many of the band’s styles culminating onto one disc, it could have been a daunting task to blend all of them into one consistent record without each song feeling drastically different. However, he pulls it off gracefully, and New Found Glory sounds the best they have in years.
Not Without A Fight is a paradigm of the pop-punk craze from earlier in the decade. With the mantra “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” New Found Glory have recorded an album old fans and new listeners will enjoy. This album is one “fight” you shouldn’t miss.
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.