[14 March 2012]
The Life was named the best new band in the Northwest in 1987 and broke up in 1989. Word has it that the guitarist’s gruff exterior—and interior—was instrumental to the outfit’s demise, but none of that matters when you listen to the 27 songs spread across these two discs. What you get is straight up rock ‘n’ roll as it existed in the mid 1980s via bands such as the Del Fuegos, BoDeans and the Alarm. There’s nothing in the first batch that marks the Life as all that special—dozens of local/regional acts across the nation sounded at least this good. Seventeen previously unreleased songs from 1989 tell the story of a band getting better, one that might have made a really damn good record on its third or fifth trip to the studio. An interesting artifact for Seattle/Washington obsessives, though its appeal beyond is limited.