# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lucksmiths - Why That Doesnt Surprise Me

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

Lucksmiths - Why That Doesnt Surprise Me
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


The Lucksmiths may well be a new name to many but since 1993 they have released a run of E.P.s, 7” singles and a full length C.D. ‘Why That Doesn’t Surprise Me’ is the Melbourne-based pop group’s fi

The Lucksmiths may well be a new name to many but since 1993 they have released a run of E.P.s, 7” singles and a full length C.D. ‘Why That Doesn’t Surprise Me’ is the Melbourne-based pop group’s first studio album in three years. Comprising of Mark Monnone, bass, electric and acoustic guitars and vocals ; Tali White, main vocalist, drums and electric piano, and Marty Donald, acoustic and electric guitars and vocals, all three Lucksmiths contribute songs to the album but Donald is the main songwriter with nine credits to his name. The initial reaction on hearing the first track, ‘Music To Hold Hands To’, was, due mainly to the vocals, to take away the first four letters of the group’s name and pretend that it was 1986 again. The likeness to Morrissey can’t be ignored but thankfully as the album progresses the Smiths comparisons are pushed slowly away by The Lucksmiths ability to make their own mark on this intelligent indie-pop music. The light, breezy production by Craig Pilkington suits the songs, which, although fleshed out with plenty of instrumentation including horns and strings, does not drown the songs and leaves them sounding bright and poppy. The opening track, and the most Morrissey-influenced song, first introduces us to the clever lyrics which are laced with humour that dominate this album and which make the songs throughout that bit more appealing. “You keep a diary… Yeah, and I know where you keep it: Under where your underwear is meant to be”. The impression which is given here is one of these guys making music inspired by their heroes but not taking it too seriously. There are a couple of beautiful ballads, which really are outstanding. The best one, ‘The Great Dividing Range’, is simply stunning. White’s yearning vocals about lovers separated by distance floating over strings make this a standout track. The following, short, ‘Beach Boys Medley’ could be about the Wilson clan in the first verse but is hardly the Beach Boys tribute I expected. At just over a minute long it’s a lazy, dreamy song but it’s over too soon to make any great impression. It’s the one letdown on the album which, had it been worked on longer, could have been up with the best. The ideas are there but not expanded on. The next two tracks more than make up for it though. ‘Broken Bones’ has intriguing lyrics; is it about actually being on crutches or is it just a metaphor for falling ‘from my sweethearts clutches’? Whatever, with it’s catchy chorus of ‘Coffee cups, promises, sure, But I’ve never broken bones before’, it’s another beautiful pop song. ‘First Cousin’ is a touching song written by White about hero-worshipping a cousin who possibly dies. Again the lyrics could be taken to mean two different things. Covering a diverse range of topics other than just loves lost and found; this album takes in songs about rollercoasters, summer days and a relationship suffering from pressure of work. Described as Squeeze meeting Elvis Costello, a more telling description would be of Morrissey fronting The Go-Betweens. Although this might seem a lazy comparison, the music has a lot in common with the intellectual pop played by The Go-Betweens. Altogether a very impressive record and highly recommended to anyone with even a slight interest in melodic pop music.

Track Listing:-
1 Music To Hold Hands
2 Synchronised Sinking
3 The Great Dividing Range
4 Beach Boys Medley
5 Broken Bones
6 First Cousin
7 Don't Bring Your Work To Bed
8 Fear The Rollercoasters
9 Harmonicas And Trams
10 The Forgetting Of Wisdom
11 Self Preservation
12 How To Tie A Tie
13 All The Recipes I've Ever Ruined
14 The Year Of Driving Languorously

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


Interview Part 3 (2004)
Lucksmiths - Interview Part 3
In the third and final part of our interview with Australian indiepop group the Lucksmiths, Tommy Gunnarsson talks to group members Tali White and Mark Monnone about their influences and songwriting
Interview Part 2 (2003)
Interview Part 2 (2003)
Interview Part 1 (2003)

favourite album

A Good Kind of Nervous (2005)
Lucksmiths - A Good Kind of Nervous
Tommy Gunnarsson writes about the slowly evolving impact on him of Australian indiepop trio the Lucksmiths' 1999 album 'A Good Kind of Nervous'

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors