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A Good Kind of Nervous

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Album Review

The Lucksmiths' first album comes to the folky warmth of Belle and Sebastian from a jangling Australian perspective, tossing out one unassuming and wonderfully written pop tune after another. While a few of the album's tracks are a little too chirpy for their own good ("Punchlines"), others are engaging, dead-on, and spinning-clean melodies over steady acoustic guitars — songs like "Columns of Steam" and "Under the Rotunda" (a track sure to invite Belle and Sebastian comparisons) are both moving and memorable. It's actually a shame that the band doesn't take itself more seriously — semi-goofy ballads like "Wyoming" are charming and appealing, but the Lucksmiths' songwriting is strong enough that they could do even better with more dramatic material.

Customer Reviews

I never knew this amazingness existed before...

I've only recently discovered the Lucksmiths. They're UK gold. I can't believe that this album was produced ten years ago; it's lovely, and intelligent, and perfect for a drizzly day. If you're interested in bands like Belle & Sebastian, or the nerd rock/twee movement of the mid-1990's to early 2000's then this album is just your cup of tea (with extra sugar, of course.)

In Defense of "Wyoming"

It is often the point of these reviews to challenge or belittle i-tunes review of a given album. This will not be that kind of review, rather a explanation of sorts... It has been said that great songwriters write what they know, Marty Donald is a great songwriter, perhaps one of the best little-known songwriters today. While many of the Lucksmiths songs contain a dizzying array of brillant lyrical turns (mainly courtesy of Mr. Donald), for the charming, spare Wyoming, Mr. Donald chose to write what he knew. As an Austrailan travelling the west, a trip through a place like Wyoming in the back of a van affords the scenery, the size and the emptiness. "Wyoming" is a song of speculation, of possibility, Mr. Donald wrote what he saw from the van window, no more, no less. Some would say the hallmark of a great songwriter.


Formed: Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Australian indie pop trio the Lucksmiths teamed singer/percussionist Tali White, guitarist Marty Donald, and bassist Mark Monnone, longtime school friends who initially bonded over their mutual admiration for the Smiths. After going their separate ways to attend university and travel, the threesome reconvened in their native Melbourne in early 1993, playing their debut gig that April opening for the Sugargliders. The Lucksmiths' debut tape was soon released, and in 1994 the group resurfaced with...
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