Stuck Lucky - Possum Soul (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Stuck Lucky

Possum Soul (2009)


With their sophomore full-length (right?), Possum Soul, Stuck Lucky remain one of the more unconventional bands of ska-punk's current wave, though not necessarily its most creatively successful.

Opener "...And I Broke a Possum's Heart" begins with a somewhat ominous guitar strum before being another guitar apes it and a tasteful brass player joins the fold. Unfortunately, the song eventually becomes a bumbling, abruptly ended track that spouts off just one sung verse, trading off a gravelly Voodoo Glow Skulls-ish bark with a smoother singer. The band begins the song with such promise only to paint its second half by numbers. You'd hope the band would fare better in more straightforward territory with Track 2, "Eternity So Bright, Gotta Wear Shades," but it just sounds like a poor update on a less abrasive note off the Suicide Machines' Destruction by Definition.

What seems to often hurt the songs when the band try playing faster is how sluggish they sound, notably the drummer. His tempo doesn't seem to match the occasional hyperspeed of the vocals and the contrast is resultingly uncomfortable.

It ain't all bad. The more redeeming and notable moments come in the breakdown of "If You Are What You Eat, Then I'll Be You by Tomorrow"; the speedy upstrokes lacing "Paint These Walls"; the refreshing acoustic take "Deep Black Hole (Pt. 2)"; and the brass in "Unicorn Family Picnic" might elicit some casual whistling along. There's also "Officer Down," which has probably the strongest hook of the whole album. It doesn't really seem like a cop-hating song -- more so a portrait of piss-stricken poverty -- but its chorus somehow begs the Leftover Crack-loving 15-year-old in you to chant along. Still, this short handful of moments aren't impressive enough to save a whole album.

The packaging on this album is modest and brushed with a vintage sense, but it's a misleading impression. Stuck Lucky are stuck with this unfortunately unremarkable effort, though I do wonder if these songs translate better live.

Eternity So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
If You Are What You Eat, Then I'll Be You by Tomorrow

Deep Black Hole (Pt. 1)
The Flies / Wake Up and Thrash