No Lost Cause – “Take 2”


No Lost Cause are back with new versions of older material but now featuring a full horn section to give you those 1990’s ska/punk vibes you may have been missing.

No Lost Cause is a Florida band by way of New Jersey and their goal is use their blend of punk and ska to speak about trust in God, providing hope and encouragement. I have previously reviewed some older versions of these songs minus the full horn sections and from what I can tell, my overall opinion hasn’t changed much. For this album, the band brought in Sef Idle for mixing and mastering at his Simpul Studios, and the result is a great blend of the different instruments and vocals. The horns stand out when they should and provide some texture in the background when needed.

Much like my first take on these tracks, I would prefer them to stay to the driving punk rock and avoid the ska altogether as that ends up sounding a bit dated and a bit derivative of older Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, and Insyderz at least to me. Overall, if this was back in the day with the likes of the Supertones etal, it would not sound dated and would have been a great addition.

On PS, I noted at least one of the tracks seemed to borrow a Trapt riff fairly extensively and on Take 2 the borrowing continues and fans of the aforementioned bands FIF and Supertones, will recognize a good bit of the music. I will say that “No Weapon” does stand out to me as one of the stronger tracks on the album but it is basically straight ahead hardcore punk with shouted vocals and a chorus and dance perfectly made for pile-ons.

NLC covers Toto’s “Africa” and brings in Sef Idle for some added assistance on the vocals. For what it’s worth, I hated the original and every version since, so no surprise, I’m not a fan of this cover either. I will say though that the arrangement works well and bringing in Sef for the faster, punk rock chorus works very well.

“Mainstream” and “Paid For” are two of the other stronger tracks on the album for me as the vocal phrasing and delivery are phenomenal and the song overall has a more original feel to it compared to many of the others on the album. The sections with just vocals guitar and bass really shine and highlight the efforts done on the mixing and mastering. This is one that gets you bobbing your head and singing along if you’re remotely alive at all.

When I reviewed PS back in 2019, I concluded with this statement and it still fits….No Lost Cause has once again put out a release filled with late 90’s pop punk and ska with a few surprises. Fans of those genres and those looking for a bit of nostalgia should check this out.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Hope For The Hopeless
2. The One Who Rescues
3. TPR 2.0 (feat. Miggy Sanchez)
4. Fight Alone
5. No Weapon
6. Where I Stand
7. Africa (feat. Sef Idle)
8. Mainstream
9. Paid For
10. My Strength
11. Way Maker

Band Members
Rob Jensen – vocals, guitar, bass
Dango Cellan – drums (tracks 1, 6, 9, 11)
Eric Martin – drums (tracks 2-5, 7. 10)

Release Date: July 8, 2021

Record label: Thumper Punk Records, 2021


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