Sometimes albums come in to the Music Critic office that are incredibly difficult to get your head around because there’s so much going on. The third album from Southend-on-Sea’s The Lucky Strikes, a concept album about boxing, comes in to that category.
The boxer in question is Frankie Valentinez and the battle for his soul has a soundtrack that encapsulates folk, Americana, English pub rock, Arcade Fire, gospel, country, Dylan, Waterboys, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Springsteen, fiddles and banjos, an Irish sound, too many cooks and a broth waiting to be spoiled. Less is more. The Lucky Strikes hit the mark with a more subtle, less stressful approach on Gabriel, Codeine and We Are The Waves.
It’s clear that The Lucky Strikes will be compared to the commercial record company zeal for bands like Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver. Everyone has to have a beard, a banjo, a fiddle and a lap steel. The Lucky Strikes are at times guilty of treading in that territory but overall this is, once you get over the eclectic kitchen sink approach and listen a few times, an album with loads of charm.
On the track Man With The Golden Arm, the band are probably too young to have heard of a band called Captain America but the riff is completely the same as a track called God Bless Les Paul on their first EP. I’m old, I know these things. Trust me... George Harrison got done for less.
All this said, unlike Lenny, with Gabriel Forgive My 22 Sins, they could still be contenders.
Review by Charlie Brown