NO LOVE LOST – No Love Lost (2013)
Two years ago we presented on this blog US rockers NO LOVE LOST fronted by singer Scott Board and their indie self-titled debut, indicating the band would be signed by a label soon. Well, that’s exactly what happened, and Kivel Records just added No Love Lost to their roster, freshly re-recording the material and releasing the group’s CD worldwide.
Hailing from Winston Salem, North Carolina, No Love Lost was formed in 2006 by veteran musicians from the east coast circuit. Vocalist Scott Board began his career with Cerebus, a North Carolina metal group that garnered national attention with their album ‘Too Late To Pray’. In the early ’90s, Board, along with No Love Lost bandmates Jason Staton and Brian Azbelle were members of Dimage recording a self-managed album as well.
So these guys have a broad musical background and all are experienced cats.
No Love Lost plays US Melodic Hard Rock, although not sounding as your typical band of the genre. Yes, the big guitars, melodies and choruses are there, but they add to the music extra ingredients. The rhythm section has a dry, compressed sound, adding some synth bass which makes it different from the rest.
They arrange the terrific vocal harmonies in an original way, and Scott Board lead vocals escapes from the usual cliché.
Musically, every song on this CD reflects a wide range of ’80s and ’90s influences, ranging from melodic lines inspired by Shooting Star or the underrated wonders Sugarcreek, with some pomp rock in the mould of Kansas in the middle, to more hard rockin’ riffs and stronger beats.
But as said, No Love Lost has their own style and sound. And quite original for sure.
Opener “Another Bad Goodbye” is driven by a sharp riff and a chorus crowned by very good vocal harmonies that reminds me C.I.T.A. / Guild Of Ages, followed by the semi-midtempo “Sign Of The Times” featuring a quirky guitar work and an accomplished vocal performance by Board.
“Little Things” is a nineties melodic rocker full of melody and one of my favorites. Connoisseurs surely will remember the great band Stun Leer from that era. Well, this track recalls their style, with a simply irresistible pre-chorus and ‘that’ drums. A winner.
The luxury “Catch Me Carrie” is bouncy and ever changing, where Shooting Star’s influence comes to mind, followed by another personal highlight, the great “Miles Apart”, perhaps is the most traditional track on the album in styling, with an earlier eighties Kansas melodious vibe and even some pomp, all with a modern production.
“Friend Of Pain” it’s more moody, with a Winger’s ‘Pull’ infatuation all over. Love it. “Back On The Streets” has a superb feel in the Sugarcreek vein adorned with keys all over, and where the lead vocals and the chorus strangely has echoes of Geoff Tate circa Queensryche’s Rage for Order. But the song structure is melodic-hard, with a pumping bass line and fine drumming.
They go to the nineties with ”Lie In Ecstasy”, an atmospheric hard rocker with a steady pace and nice keyboard orchestrations in the background, while on the slow (not a ballad), highly melodic “Grounded” the band adds some acoustics and layers of harmony vocals. Very, very well composed track.
“Break” pick up the tempo again, followed by “Skin And Bone” riding over a classic riff. This song, structurally and sonically seems taken out of George Lynch’s stupendous album Sacred Groove. Of course the guitars shine here, also the excellent drum fills and the soaring vocals.
“Closer To Home” is somehow a ballad, but it’s much more than that. The band blends a classic sweet melody with a progressive arrangement resulting in an original and innovative composition.
No Love Lost ends in great form with the catchy “Desiree” (surely the most over-used girl’s name in AOR circles), plenty of keys, guitar riffs (plus a stylized six-string solo) and vocal fills referring directly to Winger’s early golden days. Another favorite on this really good CD.
No Love Lost are rare beast in the present Melodic Hard Rock scene, and a great one.
Very well played, produced and particularly, arranged, these guys have delivered an original, splendid record for fans of the genre eager for something different.
As Bill Leverty from Firehouse said about No Love Lost: “WOW, what a great CD !! – Well done guys”.
01. Another Bad Goodbye
02. Sign of the Times
03. Little Things
04. Catch Me Carrie
05. Miles Apart
06. Friend of Pain
07. Back On the Streets
08. Lie in Ecstasy
11. Skin and Bone
12. Closer to Home
Scott Board – Lead Vocals
Brian Azbelle – Drums, Vocals
Jason Staton – Lead Guitar
Dan Fournier – Guitar, Vocals
Scott Davis – Bass, Vocals
BUY IT !