The Australian pop-punk trio With Confidence released their much anticipated sophomore album, Love and Loathing, on August 10, 2018. The album release came just after they finished up their stint on the final run of Warped Tour, which ended on August 5th.

The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard Emerging Artists list and landed at 97th on the Billboard Top 200 list in its first week. Additionally, Love and Loathing hit #1 Current Alternative Albums, #2 Top Current Rock Albums, #13 Top Current Albums, and several others on both American and international charts (info from @withconfidenceband).

The group of friends formed the band in 2012 and put out several self-produced albums and EPs. In 2016, the band signed with Hopeless Records and put out their first full length album, Better Weather, later that year.

With Confidence first showed up on my radar thanks to Spotify radio playlists a few years back and I absolutely loved their first album. But seriously, this new album has been on repeat every second I am in my car since its release. I saw them live for the first time on Warped this summer and was not disappointed. They played all their greatest hits: “Voldemort,” “We’ll Be Okay” (one of my personal favorites), “Keeper,” “Archers,” etc and of course threw in their single “Jaded” and “That Something” off the new record. I even ran into Jayden hanging out in the With Con tent on my way to see Broadside’s set and he was SO incredibly nice. I did the whole awkward “your show was really amazing, thanks for coming out,” we talked about our love for warped tour and our shared sadness in its end, and sang along to “Coffee Talk” (Broadside) together while he so graciously took a photo with me.

Love and Loathing has every aspect of With Confidence that fans will love, but I’d say there’s a greater element of pop than their previous album. The songs overall seem lighter, but by no means have they lost their edge. For example, the repeating guitar riff in “Icarus” tricks you with the potential for a lighter feel but the heavy baseline and drums bring it back down. And one of my favorite parts is how the chorus really brings out the “scream-sing” style that I absolutely love about With Confidence. It’s rough around the edges without sounding just plain rough. It’s still musical and works so well with their sound and just gives it a little something different from everyone else. 

It’s an incredibly emotional collection of songs if you take the time to actually sit back and listen to the lyrics. Take “Bruise” for example, a recurring lyrical theme is the line “we’re pressing a bruise just to feel something.” If that line doesn’t make you feel something I’m not sure pressing a bruise is going to do anything for you. And then there’s “Better” which keeps up stylistically with a pop punk sound but, again, the words… “All that I ever wanted, I want to feel worth it. Don’t want to be worthless.” I can guarantee that everyone out there no matter their life or circumstances…has felt those words at some point in their life in the realest sense of the way. The words are so deeply raw and emotional but they are also relatable. It’s nothing dramatic, it’s every day feelings sometimes about lost love (see “Paquerette (Without me)”), some just about bettering yourself in general or feelings of turning your life around (“Turnaround”).

Of all the songs on the new record, “That Something” and “Jaded” have the most typical With Confidence sound, most reminiscent of their first record and earlier songs, which may be why they chose them as the first two singles for the album. They have that old sound but with a little more of a polished finish.

I was going to tell you all about my favorite track on the album but then I realized I couldn’t narrow it down to one…there really isn’t one ‘not-great’ song on this dang album! Seriously, every single song on this record is a bop. I love “Sing to Me,” “That Something,” “Moving Boxes,” “Icarus,” “Better,” “Bruise,” “Spinning,” “Dopamine…Jaded,” “Parquerette,” “Tails”…”The Turnaround”… yes, that’s the entire track list but you’re getting the point by now, right?

These guys have really created some amazing work over the course of their fairly young career so I can only imagine what they’re capable of if they continue on the path they’re on now. This band seems to genuinely care about their fans, putting on a great show, and producing quality tunes so I know they will only continue to grow from here and I cannot wait to ride it out with them.

Rating: 9/10 

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