From the very outset of this album, it becomes apparent why New Found Glory have decided to call their new album Not Without A Fight; because in an industry where pressures to stay relevant are increasing bucket load; these guys aren't planning on giving up anytime soon.
The new album see's a different side to the band as they leave their pop punk comedic behaviour in the past and deliver something a lot more ‘grown up' and on target with the likes of more ‘hardcore pop/rock' sounding bands such as my favourites A Day To Remember.
The album kicks off with the aptly names Right Where We Left Off which still houses the catchy guitar hooks we've all grown to love from NFG, and of course, Jordan Pundik's lovely vocals.
The single is almost their plea for fans to accept that they've adapted their musical style like some foxy American chameleons and they want they loving fans to have their back all the way. It's working so far!
Next up is Don't Let Her Pull You Down which opens with a cracking guitar meltdown before the chorus plays homage to the gang chant which I can totally envisage hoards of fans shouting back to the boys when they make their annual trip to the UK later this year.
Listen To Your Friends is a great anthem for anyone who is splitting up with some stupid boy/girl at the moment and is realising that sexy time partners will come and go, but friends will always have your back. It's definitely a feel good anthem that will leave a smile on NFG fans the world over.
47 sounds like it could have found a home on the album Sticks and Stones album, but a minute in you see where the difference lies; you hear a chant which I've heard from the likes of Elias Last Day's Pat Marrow a million times over, and I begin to wonder if the guys are really going to make a move on the more hardcore music fans. I mean come on, they must surely love addictive pop punk really, all that punching each other in the face and getting involved in ‘walls of death' can't be fun can it?
The opening to Truck Stop Blues leaves me thinking that I'm listening to Fall Out Boy's 7 Minutes In Heaven and all the way through I'm thinking how much it angers me that I'm comparing New Found Glory to frog-faced Wentz. Maybe it's because FOB's mixer, Neil Avron has had his little mitts on the album? Just for the record though, it's much better than FOB.
Another current musical reference comes in the form of Tangled Up, isn't that the name of Girls Aloud's new album? Hum, anyway, I particularly like the line; "Try to never make the same mistakes in your life twice" which really resonates with me at the moment. However, this song doesn't really have that ‘kick' to make it stand out from other really strong tracks on the album.
Here comes the song that really makes the album; I'll Never Love Again is a great response to some shitty heartbreaker who never notices the 'unpopular one' in the way we know and love from NFG. It has great guitars and instrumental form which shows real progression from their older songs.
Once again, I love the gang chant; "I‘ll never love again" and the guitar breakdown towards the end of the song. After thinking I was just listening to another great New Found Glory album, this song has shown a completely new side ot the band and I completely love it.
The opening guitar hook to Such A Mess is much heavier than any we've heard from the band before, and it sort of seems like they have saved their best songs for last on the album, and producer Mark Hoppus (yeah, that one from Blink 182) has done a great job here.
The guitar hook mixed with bass line makes my belly go a little bit funny and my hair is waving all over the office as I shake it in time with the music and bang my fist to the chants of "And I can't erase you from my mind" Bloody hell, I can't believe how much I love this band all over again!]
Heartless At Best opens with really poignant lyrics; "This smoking gun of a mouth of mine, Has many victims to it's name, But this time it was your words that killed me" that I'm sure Is going to be many a kid's Facebook status on March 9. It's the slow song we expect from every album, whilst still having enough going on to make it fun.
This Isn't You fails to really stand out for me in comparison to the other tracks, but it is a great stand alone song that would still do well as a single, however, it seems to be overshadowed by the previous jaw-dropping songs.
The album ends with the aptly named, Don't Let This Be The End which is another ass whooping track that will leave you prancing around your bedroom/office/car like there's no tomorrow.
As strange as it sounds, the final song encompasses everything the album has brought to the table during the past 11 songs; a heavier, more current sound, an edgy attitude that equips them with the tools to regain their status as one of the best pop punk bands around, as well as a bit of hardcore elements (gang chants and guitar breakdowns) squeezed in for good measure.
If you only buy one CD next month, Not Without A Fight has to be it.
Rating: 5/5 - They have really managed to keep their sound current and that's no mean feat.
Skip To: I'll Never Love Again - It's already sitting in my ‘Songs I Proper Love' folder in iTunes.
FemaleFirst - Ruth Harrison
tagged in New Found Glory