Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has formed a new band called The Longshot. Today they have released a debut album.
Love Is for Losers steps on the accelerator pedal from the first song and rarely lets up in energy over the course of 11 tracks covering 32 minutes.
This isn't a radical departure from the music of Green Day, which is a good thing for fans. Billie Joe's last side-project was 2013's Foreverly album, which was a collection of Everly Brothers covers he did with Norah Jones. That album was good for what it was, but it lacked the rock sensibilities that we have grown to know and love from Armstrong.
This Longshot album is stripped down rock with tight production, basically in line with straight-ahead rock from the '60s and '70s, as opposed to the more aggressive music that made Green Day one of the biggest punk bands of all time or the sugary acoustic pop songs that made them chart-topping superstars. It also avoids the political trappings of American Idiot and Green Day's most recent album, 2016's Revolution Radio.
At first, little was known about who else was in The Longshot. We now know the lineup includes Billie Joe Armstrong (Vocals, Guitar), Jeff Matika (Bass), Kevin Preston (Guitar), and David Field (Drums). Billie Joe's son Joey is a special guest drummer on the track "Happiness."
Billie Joe Armstrong's vocals are among the most recognizable in music history, and on this record they are in good form. High energy guitar riffs fuel this newest batch of pop-punk songs, bringing them to life. There is an old-school Green Day Kerplunk! and Dookie vibe, but songs like "The Last Time" and their excellent cover of Ozzy Osbourne's "Goodbye To Romance" display versatility and a nod to rock tradition.
Has Billie Joe grown a bit weary with Green Day? Maybe The Longshot is the fresh and new creative spark that Billie Joe needs at this point in his career. Or maybe the band is just a side project that he is having fun with. Whatever the case may be, it's comforting to know that one of the '90s punk icons is still creating good music.
Our favorite songs are "The Last Time," "Taxi Driver," "Chasing A Ghost," "Love is for Losers," "Cult Hero," "Happiness," and "Goodbye To Romance."
Love Is for Losers is currently available on Amazon. You can also stream it for free above, courtesy of Spotify.
In addition to the new album, The Longshot have also announced a number of shows at intimate venues around North America this month and May. For concert tickets and more, check out The Longshot's Zumic artist page.