Second full-length album from Luckless, a New Zealand solo artist who holds her PJ Harvey-esque voice in between moody, fuzzy indie rock backing. There is a strong 90’s alternative feel to his record, very capably pulled off. Vindication Blues is Luckless’ first outing on vinyl, and is released by the Beautiful Strange label.
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“I’m howling at the moon”, murmurs Ivy Rossiter on “Port In A Storm”, the second in a batch of ten tracks for her second ever Luckless record. Murmuring about howling is a pretty good way to sum up the record as a whole, a lethargic record that toys with drama rather than experiencing it. This somewhat laid-back rock record is more subtle than it is energised, even on “Port”, whose propulsive drumbeat is merely placated by wiry guitar motifs and a slight, sighed vocal performance.
There are moments of songwriting gold on this record that more closely resemble Liz Phair and her knack for making songs sound both ramshackle and self-contained. You can just about grasp at a clear, melancholy story running through “When You Asked Her To Stay” amidst the guitars, which are barely stitched together amidst the understated discordance. “Dry Eyes” slithers along with muted chords and an ominously assured vocal performance that melds perfectly into its corresponding riffs, splashes of feedback signalling Rossiter’s claims that she won’t apologise. While Rossiter never loses her shit for real, on this record, she does dole it out in little increments -- on “Dry Eyes”, she’s most pissed in the moment between verse and chorus, suggesting the clever, subliminal way she makes her music sound intense.
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