Released back in April, The Longshot EP by the band The Longshot caught my attention, with it being a side project by Billy Joe Armstrong, and I was interested to hear what the album was like. However it was a big surprise when, a week after releasing their debut EP, The Longshot released their full album titled Love Is For Losers.
It’s not the first side project from the Green Day frontman, following previous releases from outside the Green Day bubble with bands like Pinhead Gunpowder, The Network and Foxboro Hot Tubs, among others. This album release did come out of nowhere, which I Iike, due to having no expectations coming in.
Not a lot of information about this project is known, but what we do know is who’s in the band. We have Jeff Matika on Bass and vocals who has supported Green Day for years, David S. Field and Kevin Preston on drums and guitar, both from the band Prima Donna.
The more and more I listen to this album back to front, the more I enjoyed it, with the old school rock and roll vibe featuring really cool 60’s and 50’s elements in it. Love Is For Losers won’t blow you away with lyrical context or melodies, but it just does enough that it a good listen on a drive to work.
We start off with a catchy as hell track “The Last Time” which is about you messing up in a relationship, and the other person having enough of you, and not returning your calls. This is brought to life in the line, “I called you on the phone, But there’s nobody home, I’m just watching the time go by“. With a great rock and roll vibe, that if it was played live I could see myself dancing, it’s a great start to the album.
However, we pick up the pace with “Taxi Driver” which is really about just wanting to get in your car and drive away to get away from everything and everyone, which is a subject that Billy has looked at before but that doesn’t mean that it’s still not interesting to talk about.
This is put across the most in the bridge with the lyrics “I don’t wanna get around, I wanna get a new ride, I gotta get along, So when the hope comes, I’m a go!“. The band just want to get in this car and go. We hear similar tones in the guitar and layout of the song to the previous track, but if you were on a drive in the middle of nowhere, then this would be the perfect soundtrack.
With “Chasing The Ghost“, it comes across about getting old and still trying to do what you did back then but you can’t. I think this is about Billy Joe himself and this was put across nicely with the line,”Standing in the shadows / Where all the good times gone“.
But we go to Body Bag that I believe is weaker of the album with not a lot going on with the tone of Billy Joe singing to the guitar melody that isn’t exciting with one highlight being really nice guitar solo in the bridge.
The album’s title track “Love Is For Losers” is is a great song for someone that has just been heartbroken or just broken up with their significant other, which we all have gone through at some point. The way it is being presented by Billy Joe sounds supportive, which is really cool.
This is by far the most catchy track of the album with the chorus “Hey Kid, Love is for Losers now” being stuck in your head for days. When I first heard it, I couldn’t get it out of my head, which Billy Joe is known for with his songs. With it being straight up rock and roll throughout and its simple layout, it’s just a fun catchy tune.
Another catchy track on the album is “Cult Hero” which sounds like Billy Joe is talking about himself. We have a fast pace rock and roll track with great trademark Billy Joe guitar playing and the chorus line “I’m a hyena at the dog and pony show, I’m a last of the lesser knowns, Cause I wanna be a Cult Hero” makes for one of the best of the album.
We get more of the same with “Kill Your Friends” with the similar format to other songs in the album but this features another nice solo and a catchy chorus, but I think this song used some Green Day type of bridge which isn’t always good.
“Happiness” is a really cool fast paced track talking about being lonely, which we can all relate to, while “Soul Surrender” looks at the opposite end of the spectrum, as it focuses on finding someone who you can love and with the lyrics “Don’t be so uptight“, we return to a subject Billy Joe has talked about before.
The album ends with “Turn Me Loose“, which is another faster-paced track about being yourself and not letting people tell you otherwise, and “Goodbye To Romance“, which is a cover of an Ozzy Osbourne track from the album Blizzard Of Ozz – what a way to end a pretty fun album.
Overall, I really enjoy this album in the sense that, it is just fun and great music to relax to, but in a good way. However, I can understand if you’re not loving this album as it is a simple record and doesn’t have anything really mind-blowing in it, and some people may not like that. My favorite track are “Love Is For Losers”, “The Last Time”, and “Cult Hero”.
Purchase The Long Shot’s Love Is For Losers album on iTunes here, and stream it below.
Words by Stuart Irvine