CD Review: No Love Lost / No Love Lost
Reviewed By: Roger Scales
What a banner year 2013 has been for fans of melodic rock music. Search no further than Kivel Records which has added yet another stellar band to its already impressive Kamp lineup. No Love Lost is a Carolina based band that brings aspects of Whitesnake, Triumph, early Def Leppard and Tesla thrown into a little bit of a mix of Badlands and Keel on the side. These are the groups I heard when I gave their impressive debut self-titled album a first listen.
The album proves that bands can have groove and still rock hard. Also some newer bands tend to have a standout element from its early stages: terrific singer, exceptional guitar player, standout bassist or just a hard pounding crazy drummer that can sometimes take center stage and potentially could dwarf a band’s imminent long term appeal. Well. what we’ve got here is a true band effort combining stylish performing sophistication with some mature songwriting making this debut record a joy. If this lineup has been playing at the triple A level for a few years than No Love Lost is certainly ready for the major leagues.
“Another Bad Goodbye” starts out sounding like Def Leppard 1981 via “Let It Go” which immediately has my attention! Vocalist Scott Board does his best Rik Emmett while still generating his own unique sound to this track and the entire album. I love his range. The guitar solo on the bridge has a very Vandenberg-ish and has a real Whitesnake feel to it. This song is very old school combining elements of different era’s from bands that I hold dear.
“Sign of the Times” has some serious groove from the onset. Scott Davis I thank you! It has that Bulletboys type of beat that really appeals to me. I like the dual guitar parts in this track – mot overplayed – slow pace but strong punch. This song sounds like a band that has been around for several years. It reminds me of the first time I heard the debut record of Cry of Love “Brother” back in 1993. Maturity.
“Little Things” is a true heavy rocker from the first note. Best drum fills on the album from Brian Azbell on this one. Impressive guitar lead on the bridge. I like the harmonies more so on this track than on others. Single potential and would make an interesting video.
“Catch Me Carrie” is another heavy rocker with a nod to Stephen King perhaps? Enjoyed following the lyrics on this one. Carrie is one of my favorite books of the 1970’s and whether or not this song has anything to do with it or not THAT’S how I envisioned it! Clever quirky cool. Nice pace.
“Miles Apart” is not the power ballad I envisioned as I read through the lyrics. A mid tempo rocker has a real Deep Purple Jon Lord organ sort of feel to it. The chorus was not what I had hoped it would be with little or no power to it at all. Musically grand..vocally could have had more vigor.
“Friend of Pain” has some great screams from “The Board” room! This song has some great tone and balls. It’s also the longest track on the cd and at times has a Badlands feel to it. Enjoyed the dual guitar leads again as I did earlier. Winner.
“Back on The Streets” really picks up the pace in a hurry. I was hoping it wasn’t going to sound like the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, John Norum Ace Frehley track and it did not. There is some power on this song with some tasty bass throughout. It’s the album’s shortest track but long on swing.
“Lie in Ecstasy” has this dual guitar blast going from one ear to the other to start out with and then the song kind of goes nowhere for me. Slow pace, a lot of Scott’s screams from here to there but nothing memorable, some decent guitar parts but that’s it.
“Grounded” slows everything down with some very cool acoustic guitar parts. It’s a power ballad with plenty of authority. Almost like a great Journey song and one of Scott’s strongest vocals on the entire record. I enjoyed this immensely.
“Break” had me turning down the windows of my car even in this winter weather! Velocity with some interesting time changes during the bridge. Catchy chorus..although I could have done without the voice box. Too Sambora for me. Enjoyed this one for sure.
“Skin and Bone” has a certain allure to it. The song could have used a bit more speed to it for me and the harmonies were underutilized here. Wanted more Scott! Enjoyable.
“Closer To Home” is a moody power ballad where Scott gives us his best Coverdale. One of my favorite moments on the record it sounds like it was plucked right from 1987 and brought to the present day. Very catchy chorus and perfect pace makes this the albums best song.
“Desiree” is an extremely well-crafted track with a few weaknesses. A strong chorus, gritty guitar work and more great work from “The Board Room”. The harmonies are intoxicating throughout the record but I think I may have OD’d. What a way to go..
With very few exceptions this is quite an impressive debut release for No Love Lost. It seems as if the band maturity and playing is already at a level of a group on their 3rd or 4th record. Where they go from here is anybody’s guess but one thing is for sure count me amongst the first members of the Scott “Board Room” fan club. If there is a leader needed to preside over the meetings of this growing institution..I’m available. No Love Lost certainly is not lost on talent and hopefully the momentum gained from being added to Kivel Kamp carries them well into 2014 and beyond.