REVIEW: Lucky Boys Confusion – Stormchasers

Back in 2001 Lucky Boys Confusion released their debut major label album on Elektra records.  The band mixed a great rhythm section, melodic pop punk, great vocals and some pretty catchy guitar hooks.  The first single “Fred Astaire” really resonated with me and I instantly became a fan.

They were a local Chicago southwest suburbs band and I had heard some of their songs locally, including Fred Astaire and Dumb Pop Song, since their inception in 1997.  So when they hit a major label it was home-town boys done good story.

Fast forward 20 years since their inception, and after an 11 year absence of new music (save one b-sides album I’ll just not mention) they have returned with their best, most solid album yet, Stormchasers.  This one was done by the band without label support, and it’s the best thing they’ve ever done.  It debuted on the Billboard charts at #16 Heatseeker.  It proves that if you are a good artist, you don’t need a label telling you what to do.

LBC currently consists of Ryan Fergus on drums, bassist Jason Schultejann, guitarist/vocalist Adam Krier and self-proclaimed “brown guy with the microphone” Kaustubh “Stubhy” Pandav.

This album is melodic upbeat pop rock, or as Adam calls it in “Good Luck” – punk rock with the polish.*  I’ve always loved Stubhy’s vocals as they have a unique edge to them that makes them instantly recognizable.  But don’t think that these are all happy-go-lucky tunes, the lyrics are somewhat dark but very relatable.

There are songs about having a record company press you into being something you aren’t “Name in Lights” a couple apart during wartime “Candle in the Window (Please Come Home),” working for the man “White Collar,” being stuck in your hometown and having to keep secrets “Your Friends are Whispering” the very melancholy (for me anyway) “The Sun In My Eyes” which is hopeful but also talks about how we make up the past in our minds as being better and then “Burn a Little Brighter” that’s either about suicide or school violence where they lost a friend where the officer said “that you didn’t come home from school today.”

You’ll find yourself quickly singing along to all the songs on this album and also really contemplating the lyrics and how you can relate.  Especially if you are older fans of the band. Better yet, for someone like me it’s really inspiring me to write lyrics and maybe create music again.  As a 46 year old IT Director, I miss being on stage singing to an audience.  I didn’t do it much in college, but it among my most fond memories.  There’s nothing like sharing your music with other music fans.

So that brings me to the song “White Collar” again.

Aren’t we all
Worried about things that don’t matter
So take a chance
And press against this glass ’til it shatters
Show up, get paid
Hold on to your breath while you plan your escape
Show up, get paid
‘Cause they’re on to you
‘Cause they’re on to you

I actually love my job, but sometimes it does feel like everything is arbitrary, and no matter how confident you are, sometimes you get imposter syndrome where you are worried you’ll be found out as a fraud.  ‘Cause they’re on to you indeed.

In “I Slept With the Devil” the following lyrics are actually pretty inspirational to me.

Our dreams our burning
We breathe the smoke
There’s only so much time before we choke
So stop complaining
Embrace the thrill
There’s only so much time left here to kill

I know it might seem fatalistic, but quite frankly they are right.  If you have dreams, you need to go for them because if you don’t, you’ll run out of time.  So do it, it’s scary but embrace that thrill.  Don’t waste time just sitting around being lazy and complacent. Take up that hobby. Ask that person out. Try out for that play. Write those lyrics. Don’t let your dreams burn out.

So in the end, this is the best thing LBC has ever released.  Not a skippable song on the album, and if you give it a listen you won’t be disappointed.  I can’t wait to see them live, and here’s to another 20 years.

In “Good Luck,” Adam sings:

Burned out, they call us
Screw ‘em, we got endless memories
Punk Rock and nail polish
I hope it gave you something to believe
If we burn out fast
Don’t surrender
Summer songs will last forever
That’s forever
Now and forever, good luck

It did give me something to believe, so thank you.  And the songs will last forever.  Good Luck.

Buy it on iTunesStream it on Apple Music. Stream on Spotify.

UPDATE: @Stubhy let me know on Twitter that I had some lyrics wrong, and one of those is “punk rock and nail polish” instead of “punk rock with the polish.”  I’ve updated accordingly 🙂  That said, I do think LBC is punk rock with some polish to it, but okay.  I personally think that “summer songs will last forever” is actually “some our songs will last forever” but I’ll track it down for sure at some point.  Lyrics are supposed to be in the forthcoming vinyl, so I’ll know for sure 🙂