Friday, July 03, 2020
Lucy and the Rats - Got Lucky
As a singer and songwriter, Lucy Ellis (ex Spazzys) has been responsible for some of the finest pop music of recent years. She crafts beautiful melodies and sings with a tenderness and vulnerability that bring to mind the 1960s heyday of girl groups and Brill Building pop. While known primarily for their punk bona fides, band-mates Joe Tolosoa (Los Perros, Johnny Throttle), Manu Santos (Thee Tumbitas, Johnny Throttle, Raw Fun, Michael Jackson), and Liam Brody (The Gaggers, Johnny Throttle, Scraps) have proven to be exceptionally accomplished players in a pure pop style. If I had any complaints about the debut album, it's that I would have liked to have heard a song or two that picked up the pace a little and exercised the band's punk chops. And that's where Got Lucky really hits the mark. It delights with a nice mix of moods, tempos, and musical styles. It has got plenty of the dreamy, bittersweet pop songs that this band is so well known for. "September" is wistful, beautiful, and exquisite in every way. "On Fire" sounds like a lost girl group classic and will absolutely tear your heart out. It takes a special songwriter and singer to make a ballad work, but "Lucky" is truly extraordinary. I've been going back to this song again and again, and it makes me smile every time. But while the softer side of Lucy and the Rats remains fully intact, the punkier side also comes out on this album. Uptempo numbers like "Real Thing" and "Time To Time" really put the power in the pop. "Sorry" and "Jelly Baby Baby" are perfect pop-punk songs. "Pinch Myself" is pure '77-style punk along the lines of last summer's "Stick To You" single.
If you're going broke buying all of this music I've been touting lately, I apologize (okay, not really). But I hope you've got a little more saved up for Got Lucky. When I heard the advance single "Dark Clouds" this past spring, it was clear to me that Lucy and the Rats had turned out the finest song of their existence. I am happy to report that the entire album is at that same level. If you love power pop with a punk influence, Got Lucky is an album you need to own. Lucy Ellis is a tremendous songwriter and as likable of a singer as you'll ever hear. And this band as a whole is everything that power pop ought to be. Vinyl is available now from Stardumb and Surfin' Ki Records in Europe and The Machine Shop The Machine Shop in the U.S.A.!