Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Album Review: A Loss for Words - No Sanctuary

Album Rating: C+
Abington, MA’s A Loss for Words became the third of four of Rise Records’ current pop punk roster. Together since 1999, A Loss for Words is one of pop punk’s most veteran groups still active. However, A Loss for Words has over the years had very little luck getting the attention of a serious record label despite having such hype. In 2009 they released fun yet ultimately underwhelming The Kids Can’t Lose, followed by a Motown classics cover record a year later. However, that much time spent in the industry is sure to draw some connections, and on the 2011 Warped Tour the Rise Records tent distributed The Kids Can’t Lose. Given Rise’s recent pop punk push, A Loss for Words’ contract with Rise came as no great surprise. A Loss for Words stays true to form on their Rise debut, No Sanctuary.

The record kicks off with some dissonant chords that lead into a song that feels like an A Day to Remember song without the gimmicks, a strong but ultimately forgettable opener. The listener comes to the quick realization that Matt Arsenault’s vocals are the strongest aspect of the record. Matt has an impressive voice and his presence greatly compliments the music, though the lyrical themes feel a bit stale. However, beyond the singing on the record, little else has much lasting value. The guitar lead lines are decent, the drumming is on point and tastefully mirrors the attitude of each song, and the production is crisp and professional. Unfortunately, each song does little to hold the listener’s attention. The record concludes in a short 34 minutes with a small handful of memorable moments. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with No Sanctuary, I just find myself short on reasons to come back for more.

I have great respect for a band with such a drive to be successful despite years of mediocre progress and have heard nothing but great things about the band themselves. As much as I want to like No Sanctuary, there is little for me to really get excited about. A Loss for Words clearly has the whole routine down, but is in need of something more. With the backing of Rise and some time on national tours, hopefully A Loss for Words can find what they’re missing for their next release.

Rating: C+


Track Listing

1.  Honeymoon Eyes
2.  Pray For Rain
3.  Pirouette
4.  Raining Excuses
5.  The Hammers Fall
6.  The Lost Cause I Used To Be
7.  No Sanctuary
8.  JMR
9.  Jetsetter
10. Finite
11. Wrightsville Beach

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