The Lucky Strikes. Gabriel, Forgive My 22 Sins.

Concept albums are a tricky business with the number of successful ones able to be counted on the fingers of possibly one hand. Generally the vaguer the concept the better the chances of getting away with it. The Lucky Strikes from Southend have come up with this (their second attempt at a concept, their previous album being based on an account of the murder of blues legend Robert Johnson), a hard luck story concerning a boxer who could have been a contender or so he hoped. Instead he descends into the murky waters of back street boxing, shady bets and gangsters eventually dropping out of sight and into mythology.
A potentially fine tale which tugs at memories of black and white movies, On the Waterfront being the main contender here. Fittingly the band have a big cinematic sound that at times recalls Springsteen and The Waterboys, lurching between urban rock and driving Celtic folk. Unfortunately it all tends to get a bit cluttered and there is a feeling that the listener is almost being bludgeoned, song after song into a punch-drunk acceptance. The primary one two double whammy here are the songs The Fight and The Man With The Golden Arm. Real sluggers both I’m sure that live they would have an audience begging for mercy. The band throw everything they’ve got into the ring to create a mesmerising and pulverising sound. With influences ranging from Gospel, blues, country and cabaret and with Americana and European influences entwined (think of Tom Waits’ The Black Rider) this is an album that requires close listening.


The Lucky Strikes- Man With The Golden Arm by paulk


One thought on “The Lucky Strikes. Gabriel, Forgive My 22 Sins.

  1. Pingback: The Lucky Strikes. The Exile and The Sea. (Harbour Song) | Blabber 'n' Smoke

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