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New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight (Cover Artwork)

New Found Glory

New Found Glory: Not Without a FightNot Without a Fight (2009)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Epitaph dropped its second comeback album of 2009 this month with New Found Glory's Not Without a Fight. Now, it's not NFG's best (that would be either Nothing Gold Can Stay or New Found Glory; take your pick). But it's the sort of catchy, modest success that'll remind fans why they loved the band i.
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Epitaph dropped its second comeback album of 2009 this month with New Found Glory's Not Without a Fight. Now, it's not NFG's best (that would be either Nothing Gold Can Stay or New Found Glory; take your pick). But it's the sort of catchy, modest success that'll remind fans why they loved the band in the first place. Lyrically, the record is a bit darker than the average NFG anti-love song. The band's hardcore roots are slightly more prevalent, at least to the extent that there are way more gang vocals. But mostly, it's just a great NFG pop-punk record, uncomplicated and ready to rock.

The album's packaging promises that "the undisputed heavyweight champions of pop punk are back," and for the first half, that sounds totally accurate. "Right Where We Left Off" lives up to its name, delivering the same driving pop-punk of The Tip of the Iceberg EP, only better. "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" is another rocker, every bit as catchy as "My Friends Over You" or "Hit or Miss." Same goes for lead single "Listen to Your Friends," a ribald tale of poor life decisions that warns listeners to always heed their friends' advice when dating batshit insane curb-stompers. Past and future blink-182 member Mark Hoppus feels barely present in the producer role. Not Without a Fight is crisp but not overproduced. The record occasionally comes out a little dry -- like a really, really good demo -- but as a whole, the album is rocking in its stripped-down format, a complete reversal from the overstuffed Coming Home album.

The lyrics are still pretty juvenile, though, so if you never liked NFG before, chances are slim that this will change your mind. Clichés abound with lines like "serious like a heart attack" and "It's time I rain on your parade." But frontman Jordan Pundik sings it so gosh dang well. I hate championing music whose message I don't really care about, but Not Without a Fight is too infectious to ignore. That said, another turn-off for some might the album's slightly soggy middle. "47" is an early weak point, as is the unremarkable "I'll Never Love Again." "Reasons" is a ballad, and that's just not something NFG was ever good at. The band has always been slightly hokey; "Reasons" tips into the negative.

However, these lesser tracks are broken up by songs like "Truck Stop Blues," a poppy tour song, and "Tangled Up," which takes all of the frustration of "I'll Never Love Again" and adds a kickass mall-punk chorus. So while Not Without a Fight isn't a perfect record, it never lulls for too long. It's a 12-song collection, 36 minutes long, and extremely satisfying for old and new fans alike. This album dropped the same day as Cursive's Mama, I'm Swollen and Propagandhi's Supporting Caste, and I feel no shame in labeling Not Without a Fight as my favorite release of that week. The guys in NFG have always been great pop songwriters with a punk bent, and even after their major label fallout, they're still crafting jawsome jams six albums in.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Loved Ones - Build & BurnThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundPropagandhi - Supporting CasteThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldPolar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just DisappearBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationBanner Pilot - CollapserAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryAlkaline Trio - Goddamnit

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
socal4ever (October 22, 2009)

"the radio's playin queen, and we're rockin out.."

blackhawk0072 (July 21, 2009)

oh, man .. i'm sick of this shitty band ..

those fucking man gotta die ..

damn fuck ..

RedElephant (June 30, 2009)

i dont know i strongly disliked NFG until i heard this album. everything else was way too poppy for me. you can definately hear the hardcore influence on this album, i think that's why i like it.

yousuckhard (May 13, 2009)

Oh, and people need to stop hating on something just because it's catchy; good songwriting is good songwriting, whether it's a new single from NFG or an old song from Into The Moat.

yousuckhard (May 13, 2009)

"fuckkkkk this shit. These guys, along with Dave Matthews Band and Blink 182 helped me really get into music in high school because I thought to myself: "there HAS GOT to be better music than this shit, I just gotta find it...", so, to the fops and bro-dogs in NFG, I thank you for sucking so badly and so consistantly..."

Dude, you're SO punk rock. I mean, you know just what to say about pop punk bands to get your punk rock stats up, and so now everyone knows how fucking rad and punk rock you are. You're awesome dude; I'll bet your Liberty spikes are so tall, you have to crawl through doorways! Fuck off and get a life. NFG=rad as fuck.

Eelsupinsideya (March 25, 2009)

Posted by crackpotdemagogue on 2009-03-20 20:55:25
"i would rather repeatedly punch myself in the throat than listen to this excrement."

I'd rather punch you in the throat too. With this album as the ironic soundtrack to your demise.

ChadReligion (March 24, 2009)

I know I said I had my doubts about this, but Tangled Up is a fucking awesome song

mikexdude (March 23, 2009)

This week. Cursive > NFG > Prop

paulrulzdood (March 23, 2009)

great album, great band, propaghandi wishes they were half the punk band NFG is

superskabro (March 23, 2009)

fuckkkkk this shit. These guys, along with Dave Matthews Band and Blink 182 helped me really get into music in high school because I thought to myself: "there HAS GOT to be better music than this shit, I just gotta find it...", so, to the fops and bro-dogs in NFG, I thank you for sucking so badly and so consistantly...

SilentStorms (March 23, 2009)

"This album dropped the same day as Cursive‚??s Mama, I‚??m Swollen and Propagandhi‚??s Supporting Caste, and I feel no shame in labeling Not Without a Fight as my favorite release of that week."

Well I definitely disagree with you on that quote.

tenwestchaser (March 22, 2009)

chrisafi, I've def. heard enough off of the last one, but as a sort of "return to form" it's just not quite where I was hoping it would be...and I think it's because the old songs were a bit faster.

chrisafi (March 22, 2009)

Go listen to Coming Home and you realise they already have improved the tempo much for the better.

tenwestchaser (March 22, 2009)

It really seems like something is lacking here. I think the intentions make this more like the old stuff but it just seems off. Honestly, I think it's the tempo. Speed it up guys.

evildeadalive (March 22, 2009)

I think talking about the Samson years is perfectly valid when talking about Propagandhi.

telegraphrocks (March 21, 2009)

Posted by baysidefan on 2009-03-21 12:10:10

I listened to it! 46 times! loved it! on the 47ttthhhh


OMGDIEFUCKER!

baysidefan (March 21, 2009)

I listened to it! 46 times! loved it! on the 47ttthhhh

friokir (March 21, 2009)

hmm, and I thought it said "It's time I reign on your parade"

chrisafi (March 21, 2009)

About as intense as a teddy bear...and since punk rock is all about intensity I guess this music isn't punk.

Ignorant in so many ways

LikeTheMoon (March 21, 2009)

Good stuff! NFG ae tight. Good review.

juliestevenson23 (March 21, 2009)

I'm actually really into this new album. A little different than their old stuff, but I'm still have it in the old CD player.

BrandonSideleau (March 21, 2009)

Passsss......I was sick of these pop-radio-rock hacks when their first album dropped. About as intense as a teddy bear...and since punk rock is all about intensity I guess this music isn't punk.

Torgo (March 21, 2009)

But obviously the wait is worth it, score is for The Big Lebowski. A stronger 4.5 than C I V I L W A R though.

Torgo (March 21, 2009)

I'm listening to C I V I L W A R because I'm drunk and I'm trying to quickly download the Big Lebowski so I can watch it asap but the download it going pretty slow, score is for that

Torgo (March 21, 2009)

...but I haven't heard this album, I'm listening to C I V I L W A R right now instead. Score is for that

Torgo (March 21, 2009)

NFG is legit, no question about it. Score is for their existence.

consider_the_ravens (March 21, 2009)

i personally liked coming home more than any of the other albums.

telegraphrocks (March 21, 2009)

I think the music itself created by New Found Glory (past and present) could be very good, but is ruined the second that dude opens his mouth.

So, switching that up, International Superheroes Of Hardcore is actually hilarious / entertaining, and I'll occasionally stick with that.

Score's for ISHC.

scorpiondeathlock (March 20, 2009)

score is for ian and his ALWAYS funny facial expressions.

dude just KNOWS funny....

hellxblazer (March 20, 2009)

Best thing they've put out, IMO.

deadxlast (March 20, 2009)

Cool album bro.

drewxfishy (March 20, 2009)

this rekkid rips your a$$hole up

truck stop blues best song

Wesley_Snipes (March 20, 2009)

 ¬†
 
Not without a fuck !
 

crackpotdemagogue (March 20, 2009)

i would rather repeatedly punch myself in the throat than listen to this excrement.

blanktapesemptybottles (March 20, 2009)

I was always amazed at how the singer talks like a normal male person, and then goes to sing and is immediately whining, so weird.

wyzo (March 20, 2009)

"I dig Supporting Caste enough, but it still feels like a step down from the Samson years to me"

2009. your seriously pulling the samson years thing?

That's so 1999. For real?

It's like reviewing a new bad religion record and saying 'ever since pete finestone stopped drumming....' or believeing Jawbreaker went downhill after Unfun.

The samson years? no shit? that is so unbelievably insincere.

I think John K Samson would agree with me, it's a leap to call the first two records, particularly with the rough on the edges how to clean everything, could be accurately labeled 'the samson years'.

And it's just tonal blindness to not see, like or dislike, a sea change in musical prowess between the first record and any of the last 3.

You know what really brought down the last bad religion album? Not enough Brian Baker. Yeah, he's vital. That Brian Baker. They'd be lost without him. Also, I prefer non-Jello Dead Kennedy's.

-g

PS for the record I thought Newfound Glory was a local band for years because of how often they opened in Iowa City around the first record for anyone who would let them, and when I read a review that was national speaking about them as if they were a valid band with something to say, all I could think was 'why?'. They will always be that shitty opening band that everyone was sick of seeing.

ChadReligion (March 20, 2009)

I really did not like this record as much as the other ones, although it is better than their last effort. A couple of really good songs are on here, but it's lacking so much luster on the rest of it. 47, Truck Stop Blues and Listen To Your Friends are probably the best tracks, while the rest just seems like filler.

R3vengeTherapy (March 20, 2009)

The more I look at that artwork, the uglier it becomes. Bleh.

I heard a large chunk of this record and it's not bad. I've never been able to genuinely like this band, but they've been consistent enough. I thought Coming Home was the most interesting thing they've produced, yet from what I gather, everyone else thinks it's garbage.

Archangel (March 20, 2009)

So has the singer hit puberty yet, or would listening to this continue to convince me that they're just bringing 12-year-olds into the studio with them?

Dante3000 (March 20, 2009)

Isn't this the second review in recent memory with "jawsome" in it? I mean, once is kinda funny, more than that, meh.
-Dante

joemomma420666 (March 20, 2009)

yeah, such a mess is the best song on this record.

oldpunkerforever (March 20, 2009)

good pop-punk cd, nothing more, nothing less. Much better than that last piece of shite they put out-oldpunker-

chrisafi (March 20, 2009)

I was pleased with this.

Best since Sticks and Stones; nicely stripped down and just a really fun record which is what NFG have always been about.

Might even stretch to give it 8

miniblindbandit (March 20, 2009)

so who's fighting in that cover art? a german and a gypsy?

mikexdude (March 20, 2009)

Seatbelts! Seatbelts! NEVER FORGET

givemeamuseumandillfillit (March 20, 2009)

I think the middle is the best part. Truck Stop Blues, I'll Never Love Again and Such A Mess are all nice tunes.

Jelone (March 20, 2009)

Spoon, look a couple reviews down. I dig Supporting Caste enough, but it still feels like a step down from the Samson years to me. I miss the days when Propagandhi was the thinking man's NOFX. As for Not Without a Fight, I am not kidding whatsoever. There have been a few exciting records this year, but NFG put out the most fun one so far, and that means a lot to me.

TheMarc (March 20, 2009)

Fun record! Truck Stop Blues is the jam!

spoon_of_grimbo (March 20, 2009)

better than propagandhi? really?

someone clearly hasn't ACTUALLY listened to supporting caste have they?

Bryne (March 20, 2009)

It's solid, but I don't like it as much as I thought I would.

inagreendase (March 20, 2009)

Spot-on review. So much better than that last full-length shitfest.

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