Published on May 17th, 2020 | by Justin G.
No Love Lost: Bliss (Kivel, 2020)
It’s been a while since we last heard from North Carolina-based hard rockers No Love Lost. The band, which features Cerebus frontman Scott Board, released their very promising self-titled debut back in 2013, but took their time giving us a proper follow-up. The second No Love Lost album is titled Bliss, and it’s time to find out if it was worth the wait.
(Spoiler alert: it is)
The key strengths from the first No Love Lost album – Scott Board’s charismatic vocal delivery, Jason Staton’s (and Marc Brown this time) arena rocking hooks and melodies and that overall “classic rock” sensibility – are still a big part of this album’s appeal. The Whitesnake sound is dialed down a bit, and Board doesn’t go straight to the higher registers as much. There are more moments on Bliss that bring to mind Foreigner, Mr. Big and maybe Danger Danger. It’s a good combo, as it lets them infuse their solid hard rock sound with plenty of melody and just enough polish.
If you’re looking for highlights, it’s hard to beat the ultra-catchy “Heart Strings.” “Love Song” is a really satisfying mid-tempo number, and “World Is Wide” has this great “probably too polished for a barroom rocker, but you still want to be at a bar rocking out to it” vibe. The cover of “Good Times” featuring Paul Shortino is fun enough, but it says something about the rest of the songs on Bliss that it’s probably the album’s weakest track.
While I enjoyed the No Love Lost debut, Bliss is a big step up in just about every way. Well, the cover artwork was better the first time around, but that hardly counts. The band has more than lived up to the promise they showed in 2013, and have released an album that fans of melodic hard rock bands like AdrianGale, Farcry, Seven Hard Years and Tango Down ought to love. It’s also the kind of album you play for your crusty old uncle who still goes to the Foreigner and Whitesnake shows but complains that bands don’t make this kind of music anymore.
Summary: Back and better than ever