Review Summary: Some bands get lost in their influences, some influences get lost in the bands.
Some bands wear their influences on their sleeves for everyone to plainly see. Good Luck, on the other hand, have seemed to create a seamless blend of so many different styles, it's difficult to pinpoint just where they draw their roots. Superficially, pop punk, indie, and maybe emo are terms that may come to mind in describing their sound but a deeper look unveils math rock, folk, and even jazz splashed healthily throughout. This versatility helps to keep the album interesting from beginning to end while their incessant energy and passion hold it together like glue. What's truly impressive though, is the sheer amount of songs that seem to have that indescribable "thing" that makes it echo in your ears for days after the first listen. Into Lake Griffy
is one of the few albums that I can always relate to regardless of mood. The subtle evocation of the inexpressible never ceases to amaze.
One thing to understand about Good Luck's execution of sound is that they like to polarize at times, and the two lead singers express that both lyrically and sonically throughout the album. One example would be the two songs "Stars Were Exploding" and "Bringing Them Back to Life," the former being the third track and the latter being second to last. They both take the exact same melodies and lyrics but craft them into different tracks. On "Stars Were Exploding," female singer and bassist Ginger Alford confidently sails over energetic electric guitar and drums. Towards the end of the album, however, Matt Tobey grabs an acoustic leads in softly with the same chords until the drums kick in smoothly and infuse a bit of energy. By the end of "Bringing Them Back to Life," bells, chimes, and a bass guitar have all contributed to the song and a very different realization of the same melody has been made. The vocal polarization of the two goes to show just how uncommon bands like Good Luck are; Matt softly croons in a fashion reminiscent of Ben Cooper (Electric President, Radical Face) and Brian Aubert of Silversun Pickups whereas Ginger almost yells, often in a very clear voice. Their vocal flaws are more often than not an expression of their passion and serve only to improve the music as a whole.
Never ones to get stuck in a rut, Good Luck manages to construct Into Lake Griffy
in a way that has each song flow admirably into the next while maintaining their own distinct feel and addition to the cohesive whole. From simple but effective riffs and powerchords to intricate math rock-esque stringwork, every song struggles to be it's own individual sonic journey. For the most part Good luck is very successful at this, but there are admittedly songs that could have been dropped from the tracklist without any loss in quality. This is not to say that these tracks are bad, rather that they don't add anything or are just plain forgettable. "Sleep With No Bad Dreams" and "1001 Open Hands" fall into the category of unmemorable, which is sad considering the latter is the album's closer. When looking at the opening "How To Live Here," "1001 Open Hands" seems to pale in comparison. Aside from just having an interesting and high-energy intro, the opener boasts deeply introspective and universally relatable lyrics on top of an ever-changing sea of plucked strings. Math rock and pop punk stride hand in hand through the entire track and lead into the groovy and riff filled intro to the second track "Pajammin". The introspective and poetic lines continue throughout and stand tall above the lyrical par completing the last piece of the puzzle necessary in a force to be reckoned with in real music.
Good Luck has spent a significant amount of time almost underground, noted by few but highly regarded by those who have been lucky enough to have an album dropped in their hands. With their confidence, energy, versatility, and polarization of sound they have been creating a small undercurrent in the ocean of sub genres. Some of their songs could be compared to a much more energetic American Football while others are akin to a punk-influenced Silversun Pickups. In the end, Good Luck's influence are too many to count which makes for a beautifully unique and full album. The distinct differences in sound from song to song without sounding like a collection of singles is a feat to behold as well. Good luck is a band poised to either truly impact the industry in the future or fade out like an exploding star.
-Non-romantic dual vocals
-Flawed voices could not be for some people
-A few filler tracks