Like the cigarettes that they share a name with, The Lucky Strikes, have a tendency to be seen as an American heartland band, drawing on the Southern Rock/Americana sensibilities of the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, primed by a combination of grits and bourbon, but listen that bit closer and you'll find that the delta sounds that give the band their distinctiveness is the Thames not the Mississippi.
"The Motion And The Moving On" is the latest from one of Southend's finest and it draws on both sides of the pond, continuing a tradition that's been going on for hundreds of years, for me it's also an album that seems to capture a greater breadth of sounds than previous cuts and does so without making the album broad and shallow, more one that lays out a full scape. Dangerous sandbars that seek to trap the unwary as well as channels that allow the band to go at it full throttle and blast across the landscape like an airboat with a supercharged V8 and a driver equally as charged with the rock and roll spirit.
It's an album that seems to capture The Lucky Strikes in a period of reflection and that's captured in the sounds, with slower, more reflective, questioning songs providing a stark contrast to the hell raising. "Carry Me Home", with its gospel riffs and self examination, proving such a counterpoint to "War Drums" being a good example.
Push to shove, The Lucky Strikes are a band that I prefer to see live, it was the same with The Clash, but boy am I glad that they made albums, gave me the chance to explore the songs and have something to listen to when they were no longer here. The Lucky Strikes are still very much with us and still performing live, but practicality says to can't just go to a gig when you need that shot in the arm and "The Motion And The Moving On" does a damn sight more than just giving you a fix.
|Various Artists: The Ultimate Guide to English Folk||Riddle & The Stars: New Coastline|
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