Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

Following the release of their album “Sticks and Stones,” New Found Glory felt like they needed to prove people wrong. “Sticks and Stones” was the band’s breakout record. Their single “My Friends Over You” received consistent airplay on MTV, and was frequently included on the now-defunct Total Request Live. That same year, 2002, the band also released a DVD. The band could do no wrong.

However, the band was hardly content in their success. Critics, magazines, and other media outlets compared New Found Glory to bands such as Good Charlotte and Simple Plan which did not sit well with the band. Guitarist Chad Gilbert didn’t like being compared to pop bands, and being lumped in with pop acts, because he does not think New Found Glory is a pop band.

Indeed, New Found Glory is, as their newest album art says, the undisputed kings of pop-punk. But following those comparisons, the band wrote their fourth studio album, “Catalyst.”

The album was heavier than anything the band had previously released, wearing the band’s hardcore influences on its sleeve this time around. The album is a response to every media outlet who compared New Found Glory to Good Charlotte and Simple Plan.

See NFG on Page 13

NFG

From Page 11

A similiar thing has happened with the band’s newest album “Not Without A Fight.” Following up their sort-of-maligned fifth studio album, “Coming Home,” the band wanted to return to its roots.

“Coming Home” is the happiest album the band has ever made, and probably, will ever make. Four of the five members were in relationships. Two members, lead singer Jordan Pundik and Chad Gilbert, were engaged.

However, both engagments ended in divorce. Geffen Records barely promoted or pushed “Coming Home,” convincing the band to leave the label.

Without a label, New Found Glory decided it was time to return to their roots, and to have fun again.

The band released their second album of covers on their old label, Drive-Thru records, and they released a 6 song E.P. on Bridge 9 records.

The band also toured, often taking requests from the crowd, playing everything and anything they have ever written.

In the Fall 2008, the band returned to the studio to write their sixth studio album. Without a label and a recording studio, the band was fortunate to have a friend in Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus.

Hoppus produced “Not Without A Fight.” After production of the album was complete, the band shopped the record around to various record labels, and eventually found a home with Epitaph Records.

As for “Not Without A Fight,” the album opens with the infectious song “Right Where We Left Off.” It encapsulates everything New Found Glory is: catchy melody, flawless timing, relatable lyrics, terrific drumming and excellent vocals. The song is one of the best songs the band has written. There are traces of every album in the record. “Truck Stop Blues” harkens back to their Self-Titled album and the song “Dressed To Kill” content-wise, with both songs being about the hardships of being involved in a relationship on the road. “Don’t Let This Be The End” is practically an answer to their song “Ballad for the Lost Romantics.”

But the album is not a ‘woe-are-we.’ There are songs about love and loss, relationship angst, ect.

However, fans of pop-punk love that stuff. The entire genre is built on the idea of ‘boy-loves-girl-but-girl-in-no-way-whatsoever-loves-boy-and-never-will.’ Songs such as the album’s single “Listen To Your Friends,” “47,” and “Such A Mess,” combine catchy melodies with bittersweet, and very descriptive lyrics reminsicent of their “Nothing Gold Can Stay” days. “Listen To Your Friends” compares the end of a relationship to a street fight, and delivers the message that your friends will never let you down.

Drummer Cyrus Bolooki continues to improve his ability with each release, and Jordan Pundik is the best he’s ever been as the lead vocalist of the band.

There are some weaknesses though. “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” is a song with unrealized potential, and “Tangled Up” could’ve been left off of the album altogether. “Tangled Up” is very bland, and seems purely filler.

Overall though, the album is an enjoyable experience. New Found Glory is aware of what they are good at, and what they are good at is crafting catchy melodies, combing those melodies with punk and hardcore sensibilities. “Not Without A Fight” is an album any fan of New Found Glory will love, and an album any fan of pop-punk will enjoy.

The band will be touring this spring. On April 18th, they will be in Philadelphia at The Trocadero.

Chris Monigle is a fourth-year student majoring in Literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.

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