Lucky Boys COnfusion
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Throwing The Game , 6/10 (comp)

Lucky Boys Confusion is a ska-punk-pop band from Chicago featuring Kaustubh "Stubhy" Pandav on vocals, Adam Krier on guitar and keyboards (co-author with Pandav of most of the material), Joe Sell on guitar, Jason Schultejann on bass and Ryan Fergus on drums. They debuted with the EP What Gets Me High (Lucky Boys, 1997) and the album Growing Out Of It (Lucky Boys, 1998), whose best songs are reprised on their major-label debut.

The tight, propulsive, kinetic and eclectic sound of Throwing The Game (Elektra, 2001) would be just one more punk-pop offering but LBC pull out two massive tricks: firstly, almost every song is irresistibly catchy and, secondly, they display an uncanny ability to mix and match different styles, genres and tempos.
Breaking Rules boasts one of the band's trademarks, an epic, fast-paced Social Distortion-style refrain, which is tempered by an organ-based reggae interlude. The Story of My Life theme returns in Fred Astaire (launched by a Green Day-ish progression) and a few of the most passionate songs.
3 To 10/CB's Caddy Part III throws in a fractured heavy-metal guitar riff (of the old Who/Kinks school) and a spastic rap. LBC's songs manage to fuse the epic, the partying and a serious reportage of their times the way the Clash used to. That this is also music with a message is proved especially by the melodramatic, suspenseful (and middle-eastern sounding) One to the Right .
Child's Play toys with a filtered rap uttered over heavy-metal riffing, which then mutates into a ska fanfare and then into an old-time blues. Ska and reggae are major ingredients, whether in the clownesque ska of 40/80 (with an aria worthy of the operetta) or in the full-fledge reggae fanfare of City Lights. Bossman soars with a Clash-grade chorus and dives into a reggae scherzo. Not About Debra is a decadent ska that degrades into a wild calypso dance.
The artistic peak, though, has gotten to be represented by the two best melodies, the demented ramalama of Dumb Pop Song (fading into a sublime funk-rap coda) and frantic, pounding Do You Miss Me (led by a piano ouverture in the vein of Jim Steinman). The word "catchy" doesn't even come close to the power of these ditties.
Such a smooth fusion of punk, hip hop, reggae, ska, pop, funk and heavy metal had never been achieved before. Their masters Sublime and Beastie Boys are only a fraction of the equation. The rest comes from a life lived in the suburbs listening to the music of the dispossed youth.

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