A Loss For Words
When A Loss For Words said their new album No Sanctuary was going to be more of a rock record than a pop punk album it didn’t exactly fill me with hope. I assumed it meant they were going to slow down the drums and try and hire someone to co-write a single. It appears I owe the band an apology. No Sanctuary is the rare pop punk record from the post New Found Glory scene that is actually heavier than the one that came before it.
By dialing back the pop in favor focusing on their faster and more aggressive sides A Loss For Words earn the kind of good will that allows a ultimately pop record the kind of freedom to include a hardcore song (“No Sanctuary”) and a Fall Out Boy worthy ballad (“Jetsetter”) without either feeling out of place. It’s an interesting gamble; Matt Arsenault’s crooning vocal style is sure to turn off people with an aversion to pop, even for people who’d normally like the music.
With the resurgence of 2000s style pop punk over the last few years it’s interesting to see the bands who’ve come up in the VFW grow and change. A Loss For Words share the same hardcore show roots as Fall Out Boy and the dynamic between their heavy and pop sides is similar. However when faced with the opportunity to drop their speed and aggression A Loss For Words doubled up on both. With their vocalist’s golden pipes it would have been easier to write a big pop record. Instead the band evolved their sound into a compelling mix of weight and glossy hooks. No Sanctuary going to be too heavy for some pop fans and way too poppy for some pop punk fans. But those listeners who can embrace both sides are going to find something to love.