Now onto their fourth full-length LP, and championing a somewhat consistent pop-punk sound, Boston’s A Loss For Words offer up more of the same with ‘Before It Caves’. A vast array of pop harmonies, sharp guitar leads, but nothing that any band of this genre has not carved out and served up before.
Opening up with recent single, ‘Distance’, A Loss For Words draw the audience in with a chorus that asks to be sang out loud and in someone’s face. With a soaring, yet typically pop-punk chorus, vocalist Matty Arsenault sings “Whatever distance I may go / I’m only one phone call from home”. The consistent pop harmonies embedded in the LP, however, with a lack of diversity in song writing and tracks that are more pop than punk, A Loss For Words struggle to break the mould from here.
Perhaps the most prominent factor of ‘Before It Caves’ is its persistence of perpetuating the same formula rather than its consistency. Arsenault‘s vocals are on form, however, the musicality of this LP feels rather overshadowed by the prominence of the vocals. Though in areas the guitar leads show themselves promise, overall the guitars seem to blanket themselves underneath the harmonies. Considering the guitars produce some well executed rhythm and pace, this is a disappointing result.
With the concept of persistent formula of overly poppy-less-punk vibe, for instance in tracks such as ‘No Merit To Envy’, the band falls into a trap which rather stifles the fluidity of their tracks. Though songs such as ‘Distance’ offer a landmark for the LP’s tracklist with its more hard-hitting musicality, there’s an unfortunate lack of flow to ‘Before It Caves’. The flow of the tracks rather perpetuates similar material until the record is tired from the sheer abundance of pop and minor punk. Unfortunately, for A Loss For Words, this doesn’t particularly sit well for a band of their calibre and ability.
A Loss For Words may have a respectable set of records in their back catalogue. Unfortunately, ‘Before It Caves’ doesn’t quite manage to reach the same standard. With a lack of substantial punk formula and a negative, and somewhat exhausting, persistence embedded into this LP, A Loss For Words sell themselves short. In the end, more pop than punk doesn’t quite seem to be the formula for a good pop-punk record, unfortunately. Though, A Loss For Words could quite easily use this as a potential stepping stone in an ideal music world.
Written by Calv Robinson