Album review: With Confidence – With Confidence

Aussie pop-punks With Confidence stumble on frequently forgettable self-titled third album…

Album review: With Confidence – With Confidence
James Hickie

If you make your new record self-titled, people will naturally assume there’s been a massive stylistic shift or that this is your definitive creative statement to date. In the case of With Confidence’s third album, neither of these things is true. It’s familiar and sporadically engaging, but far from the Sydney quartet’s best work.

Admittedly, opener What You Make It puts its best foot forward, parking the saccharine in favour of something stroppier, and powered by some beefy guitar work. But that momentum is soon interrupted by City, which with its glossy production and yearning vocals clearly has sky high aspirations. Having the trappings of an epic doesn’t make a song epic, though sadly, and the results feel empty.

That’s the main issue with With Confidence the album: it hooks you in with the kind of songs we’ve come to expect from With Confidence the band – soul-searching songs with melodies that burrow their way into your brain and lyrics that find their way into your heart – but then there’s a misstep that causes you to lose faith in proceedings. And while there are enough strong moments to scoop you back up again, interest wise, this process of delight (Cult) and disappointment (Atlanta) is repeated throughout, making for an uneven listening experience (not a charge you could level at its predecessor, 2018’s excellent Love And Loathing.)

The problem this time around may well stem from the strength of this album’s tentpole singles, particularly the lovably corny Big Cat Judgement Day, which heralded a tent that’s sadly turned out to be sagging and letting the rain in. You can’t knock With Confidence’s ambition, but this time around it appears they’ve let their desire to be big overlook the small matter of having enough songs that land with the listener.

Verdict: 2/5

For fans of: Neck Deep, State Champs, Waterparks

With Confidence is out now via Hopeless

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