Sunday January 21st 2018

Loser’s Circle – “Took Long Enough”


Loser’s Circle – “Took Long Enough”


I never gave much thought to this band’s name, Loser’s Circle. Now, that I do- it sounds like a cruel game. Like, the ones who don’t fit in, in the schoolyard, get put in the loser’s circle. Where the others form a circle around the perimeter, and jeer at them.

Which also causes me to think of the term “pop/punk”- a term I’ve recently banished from my writing because, I feel, if you truly play punk- it’s not likely to be popular. And all punk bands, from the start till now, have used melodic songs with traditional music forms. Much like pop but at polar differences concerning substance.

When TNB started, 666 years ago, I mean 6 years ago, hardcore was the king and we were told that Refuse Resist was the best. We checked them out and found, at the time, that this was true.

Then the band split up, three of the remaining members continued on as Loser’s Circle, but played more in the melodic/punk style.

And I always liked them but never thought they would pass the legacy of Refuse Resist. Adding Matt on drums, ex-of The Radicals and the drummer with Jason Bennett & The Resistance, adds a lot with his energetic drumming and solid vocals.

But besides their being a noticeable change in their live shows, I see now that the new songs they’ve added has made as much a difference as Matt.

And this album reflects that, lots of energy, lot of excitement, lots of passionate playing here. But also, the words are more thoughtful, more reflective, more “heart on the sleeve.”

This material is more truthful, more real and beautiful. And yes, I do think they surpass Refuse Resist.

And I guess if you’re cast by life into the loser’s circle- well, you might just find yourself in the pit in the front of a stage, at a local punk or hardcore show.

But feel yourself privileged- it’s where the misfits of society, and in my opinion the “cream of the crop,” find a place where they’re accepted and welcomed.

But now let me introduce you to a whole slew of great songs:

“We had the best times, we had the worst,” so starts “Getting By,” in reference to the Charles Dickens line, “It was the best of times, it was also the worst of times.” With it’s swinging beat, roaring guitars and bitter-sweet lyrics. “We were young, we were dumb, we had the world in front of us.” This tune is about having big dreams and “never growing old and being brothers till the very end, until the day we die.” And though they can’t drink as much as they use to, life’s okay as long as they have friends. There’s a part that’s in 7/4, I believe, and a simple, but very effective solo and this is the song I keep humming in my head.

“I’m not sure what’s real anymore, as I can’t keep my feet on the floor.” “Lock Me Away” is a rip roaring number sung by Matt that, instead of fast hardcore, I like to think of as a Little Richard’s song at supersonic speed. Great melodic chorus with a nice, high pitched vocal add by the guitarist, Mike, and this song flies past your face before you know it. But not before you realize, you’re left with a smile on your face.

“Scars” starts out with boisterous, blasting music that is met with angry, emotional lyrics. “A song came on the radio, reminded me of you. Change the channel, try to cover, but somehow hope you’re thinking of me, too.” This tune is a great combination of lively, buoyant music with reflective, depressing words. “I’ll always be the angry kid I was young.” And this terrific song, which reminds me of The Old Edison, will always be the one and one of the best songs on this album.

“Drinking From The Sink,” is like a combination Oi/glam song- like Gary Glitter fronting Anti-Nowhere League. It’s an exciting, extremely fun song. “It’s not what you think, but it’s all that you know.(I was getting high, and I was getting low).” With all the wonderful, meaningful songs on this album- this is probably my fave.

“Passive Aggressive,” explodes like a stick of dynamite blasting inside your head. “You talk too much, you feed your ego. You think you’re some kind of fuckin’ hero. You undermine every goddamn thing I say. It’s not my definition of being a friend.” But this is my definition of a great, melodic punk song that kicks ass, immensely.

With chopping rhythms and slashing guitars, “Small Town Wasteland,” juts out of the gate with another tale of youthful despair. “Another weekend has come and it is gone. We’re still searching for the purpose, trying to find where we belong.” This song charges along with poignant emotion, bursting energy and delivers another gem of passion, thoughtfulness and truth. And gets out before it sucks. Plus the perfect ending to an album…but wait!

“Loser’s Circle,” is their theme song, I guess, with vocals traded around the bandstand and the grinding guitars battling the poly-rhythmic barrage of drum hits. “Always standing in the loser’s circle ’cause I know I’ll never win in this life. No matter how hard I try…I’ll be a loser till I die.” Another tremendous, heartfelt tune and another perfect ending.

I see the bands I follow. I see their little gains. I see them sprout up, not so much like a flower but an unwanted weed. I see society try to choke them, pull them out by their roots! Their truth and passion and beauty is not wanted, you see?

They almost always lose in the end, by society’s standards. But they win by a mile by me.

They win with their art, they win with their guts, they win with their desire, their realness, their camaraderie- with their honest feelings and kindness and goodness of heart.

And they win, and then they win, and then they win once again.

And the Loser’s Circle deserve to step out of that circle with this album, as far as I’m concerned- they’re fuckin’ winners to me.


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