By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
Those fans will not be disappointed by New Found Glory's first release for Epitaph, Not Without a Fight. Much like the band itself, the album is more of the same, but just as good as ever. The twelve tracks were produced by a contemporary pop-punk demigod, Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. Eschewing most of the effects muck-drowning the current crop of Warped Tour stars, Hoppus opted for a relatively stripped-down approach focused on the "rock" part of "pop-rock." The grit at the heart of the songs floats back to the surface. As before, the band shines brightest with the formula it has perfected, that of anthemic melodies and sing-along choruses infused with a hint of bittersweet tang.
"Since the last album, we've had a couple of big breakups, and split from our label, and had a lot of personal struggles in our lives," Gilbert says. "But it's not meant to be all negative. It's sort of an inspirational record to try to make people get through their crap."
And New Found Glory knows about survival. Not even 30 years old, the members boast careers twice as long as most acts that have reached similar commercial and critical peaks. And they intend to keep at it. "This is our sixth full-length album, and most bands only have two or three," Gilbert says. "Compared to other bands who have been around the same length of time as us, we're still younger dudes. We just love what we do, and put our band before everything else in our lives.
"The band will always be our number-one, and I don't see it ever stopping. We love playing, so why would we want to stop?"