Review of New Found Glory's album 'Not Without A Fight'.
Following on from last year's hits collection comes album number six from punk-rock quintet New Found Glory, some 9 years on after the band formed. Produced by long-time friend Mark Hoppus, the album will be promoted in Europe with live dates from the end of May.
NFG's last studio record, 'Coming Home', was characterised by a 'mature' sound which worked surprisingly well and hinted that the genre veterans were perhaps heading in a new direction - this latest offering makes it clear that those ideas have been jettisoned. Instead they've tried to recapture their youth - a midlife crisis perhaps? - with the results being mixed to say the least. Bookends 'Right Where We Left Off' and 'Don't Let This Be The End' impress with determination and attitude, the latter bringing out a riff that comes out of The Hives catalogue, while 'Don't Let Her Pull You Down' is a bouncy ball of energy with a fist-pumping gang vocal chorus. As the title may suggest, 'Listen To Your Friends' shares common themes and a similar riff to previous hit 'My Friends Over You', but beyond these tunes the band seem to lack ideas.
The mid-section of 'Not Without A Fight' feels as if NFG are on autopilot, so whilst it contains undeniable energy, songs such as 'Tangled Up' and the melodramatic 'Never Love Again' have been bettered in the pastby themselves and others. The thrash of 'Truck Stop Blues' will no doubt have audiences bouncing with carefree abandon, but there's very little tune to be enjoyed, which is less than you'd expect from a band who sticker the album with the line 'The undisputed heavyweight champions of pop punk'. On this evidence they are closer to Audley Harrison than Lennox Lewis and the soon-to-return Blink 182 may just have something to say aboutthat laughable claim.
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