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Album Review : The Lucksmiths - First Frost

  • Written by  Kirstie McCrum

First of all, some confusion to clear up. Is a lucksmith someone who makes luck, like a 'smith' would have in the old days? If so, there must be someone whose bought up all of The Lucksmiths' bright, shiny, new luck, because this Aussie band have been going for 15 years and they're still not a household name. Maybe that's down to more than just bad luck, but still, the irrepressible Lucksmiths smile on through their troubles!


'The Town & Hills' starts this off for all the world like a Beautiful South record, and there are plenty more similarities to that band here - the wry look at the state of things, the sideways swipes at life. Really, there are enough sideways swipes on First Frost to make a whole year of columns for Liz Jones in the Daily Mail. This opener is a jaunty pop rendering of a somewhat darker story - where human civilisation is overtaken by nature - told in an impossibly cheery manner!

On "Good Light", there's a crisp guitar which can't hide the similarity that The Lucksmiths bear to Crowded House, manifested in delicious rhyming couplets and chiming melody, and all with their trademark twinkling smile.

It really is enough of the cheer by the time 'A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed)' comes round. It is, in truth, slightly flat, and is really the start of the signs that it is all getting away from The Lucksmiths just a bit.

They retain their ingenuity in the world of the lyric - 'California In Popular Song' is an ode to the U.S. state which is a muse for many - but by the time that 'South-East Coastal Rendezvous' comes round, it's all quite tired.

The Lucksmiths make lovely songs, but they are all in the same vein and there's never a lot to mark this one out as different from the last three perky little ditties.

That said, 'The National Mitten Registry' is the album high point, telling a day in the life of a lost glove, a sort of woozy Dream of the Rood for misplaced accessories, and where an astonishing theme for the broken hearted is born.

There's so much in this album that makes you want to shout about The Lucksmiths from the rooftops, and then something like 'How We Met' comes on and you're really thankful you didn't because it's not terribly good. Perhaps they should readjust their trusty smiles and see about getting themselves some good luck.

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