Loser Life - I Have Ghosts and I Have Ghosts (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Loser Life

I Have Ghosts and I Have Ghosts (2007)

Magic Bullet

Loser Life harken back to a simpler time, a time where punk bands didn't give much of a thought to how the production on the album sounds or how they'll look in the press photos. A time when nobody had to remind anyone else that music should be more important than the image that promotes it; a time when the music being raw and unbridled was expected, not pleasantly surprising.

Well, being that this is 2007, it is a surprise, but that does not detract from the high quality of music that Loser Life bring forth with I Have Ghosts and I Have Ghosts.

Everything about the album seems urgent: wave after wave of distortion and gritty vocals pulsate with a frenetic rhythm underneath, as "Cashing In" perfectly frames. Channeling the ghost of Rites of Spring, Loser Life look at life through the same down-trodden lens. The lyrical outlook isn't a positive one, but there's a definite authenticity to lines like "I am hanging on by a thread, and I reject this world." The style of vocals perfectly accents that feeling, and many others like it that are sprinkled throughout the album's eight songs.

Solid as the themes of the album are, they're never the focus, but instead the perfect compliment to the pounding drums of "No Eye Contact" and the searing riffs of "Fake Life," the latter of which rages with such fervor and conviction it's almost overwhelming. There's a genuine feeling that at any moment, the band could completely fly off the handle. There's a controlled chaos to their music, governed by those cascading rhythms and punchy vocals, but it's that underlying sense that things could be turned upside down just one riff later that truly makes things interesting. "Forget My Name" begins in an unassuming enough manner, but shortly after the quick intro, the quartet is starting a maelstrom of howling vocals and catatonic riffing, before settling into a more reserved, vocal-less groove that simultaneously displays their diversity and refusal to settle into a rut.

Perhaps most impressive at all is that each of these eight tracks has its own identity. The changes in vocal inflection are as pronounced as the variances in chord progressions, and it's for this reason that each hard-hitting song can stand as well on its own as it can in sequence. And at a meager 28-minute running time, you should have no problem at all letting Loser Life rage from start to finish two or three times.

We're all winners this time around.