Saturday, October 25, 2008

Grim Luck! - Alexandra Vol. 1 (2007)

They may not have high production values, but damn Grim Luck! has massive potential. With a full, dark sound, a heavy and deliberate pace, and unflinchingly underground ethics they are the front runner in the San Diego Ska scene and a band that everyone should look out for in the coming years. You can download all three of their full length albums via their Myspace but Alexandra Vol. 1 stands out above the other two.

Grim Luck! brings catchy lyrics and a steady energy to the table but it's their distinctly San Diego flavor that really sells. Proud of their home town and not afraid to sing about it, half of their songs burst with a "fuck yeah, we're from San Diego" vibe. The surprisingly clever mariachi themed "Jose and Pancho" is about two Mexican teenagers that sneak across the border to see a ska show. The double song "College" and "Going to Santa Barbara" about going to UCSB for Spring Break has an eerily authentic feel. Maybe I'm a little biased but I haven't seen such whole hearted civic pride that doesn't come off as preachy since East Bay legends Rancid.

But that's not to say that the album doesn't have a few rough edges. They have a tendency to vamp the chorus ad nausea and some songs drag towards the end. Some definite Streetlight Manifesto plagiarism occasionally leaks through too, but not nearly bad as other bands. And Reel Big Fish fans need to look elsewhere for clear, crisp horn riffs. But despite their shortcomings, Alexandra Vol. 1 is full of good songwriting, a rich horn section and an unstoppable driving tempo and Grim Luck! is one of the most hopeful up-and-coming acts out there.

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Erich said...


Erich Beckmann said...

Hey! We have a new album! Alexandra Volume 2!