Rantings, reviews and lists from a person who structures half his life around obsessing over music.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Found Glory - Not Without A Fight (2009)

2.5 ★/5.0 - 5.9

It might be hard to admit, but most of the tracks on New Found Glory's self titled album and their follow up, Sticks And Stones are extremely catchy, accomplished pop punk, with hooks and chainsaw guitar riffs that appeal just as much to fans of Journey and power-pop as much as they would to teenage mallrats and fangirls making the transition from boy bands to "real" music. And because of those endlessly replayable arena rock anthems, I will openly admit to counting New Found Glory among a mental list of bands whose releases I keep up with. There's also all the fond memories of reckless youthful abandon that I associate with those albums. I grew up listening to interchangeable, dumb, trashy pop-punk like this and while there are so many reasons to hate it, I find myself coming back to it time and time again for the nostalgia.

Ordinarily, at this point in the review, I would explain in what way this tangent about the bands' earlier works is relevant to their newest release. Unfortunately, that wasn't my intention. The fact is, there is nothing to talk about with this album. It's just the same old shit, with a quarter of the vitality the band once had. They were once dependably second rate, but now they're more like fourth or fifth. I was just ranting about their old material, because when faced with music this redundant, boring and predictable, the only thing I can do is curl up into my bubble of security and struggle to recall a time when pop-punk was everything to me. Expect to do the same when your fondest memories of the past get shat all over by the depressing reality of the present.

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