Knuckle Down –  Blind Lucy (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You have to admire Blind Lucy’s honesty. In a world were everyone seems to be mesmerised by celebrity, by TV’s pseudo-reality portrayal of the lifestyles of the rich and fatuous, of the amount of money Ronaldo earns or the size of Kim Kardashian’s arse (note UK spelling to show that I don’t buy into, what is essentially, a US creation,) they are happy to admit to just being normal guys. Or to use their own words, “average Australians and champions of voicing the first world problems of a generation that lives in no ghetto or Hollywood reality.” So let’s hear it for ordinary people making extraordinary music.

And it is extraordinary. Okay, what they deliver is pretty much up to the minute rock. It plays it too straight to be regarded as alternative, which is generally a good thing anyway, owes a debt of thanks to classic rock grooves, a few nods to the tricks and tones of 80’s hair bands but essentially does what the best rock has always done, that is steer clear of pigeon-holes and just follow their own musical urges wherever that may take them.

Where I think that they rise above the competition however is in the execution of such a plan. For a start, for a band following some fairly well-worn paths, there is a freshness and an urgency at work here and that only comes from good songwriting. Make that great songwriting. There is also a polish to the finished product that comes from a band knowing how to capture their sound in the studio and a producer who is happy to follow the “if it ain’t broke…” philosophy. Because there is nothing “broke” here, far from it. Rock has often suffered from bands plundering, plagiarising and pillaging past sounds, arriving with too much rock’n’roll baggage or just not understanding that despite being such an established genre, or more likely because of it, it is all about looking forward to new potential rather than backward to past glories.

And the clever thing here is that there is just enough of a whiff of nostalgia floating around to keep those set in their ways happy but essentially it is their blend of contemporary comfort zones and forward-thinking that makes their sound work so well. This is the sound of evolution not revolution and there is most definitely nothing wrong with that. Why be a flash in the pan when you can be a part of a raging fire that a modern rock scene can coalesce around?

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