Gringo Star – Count Yer Lucky Stars

January 01, 1970

(Gigantic Music) 



Being so impressed with their
debut album, All Y’all, back in 2008,
I pronounced it in my review to be one of the most exciting albums of that
year, and most likely the Best Debut album. Most reviewers favored it with
positive commendation, and since then the band has knocked ‘em dead at CMJ,
ditto for several years at SXSW, shined at a couple of guest sessions at
Daytrotter studio, plus, featured in a documentary (Hurry Up and Wait) about them. Their live shows are legendary, in
that they expend about 110% at each show, delighting fans and converting new ones
every night. Their pop passion is exuberant and contagious and they excel in
superb writing and performing. Folks that frothed over the first album will
find that the band has ripened some in their songwriting, but that it still
carries the exuberance, as well as the Puckish mixture of Brit-pop, ala Supergrass
and The Kinks, some ‘50s ducktail, and the surfy-garage sound they’re keen on.
Fans of Harlem, the Sorrows, the Soft Pack, and the Gringos’ fellow Atlantans
The Black Lips, will eagerly clamber on board for these guys.


These newer songs are a just
little more complex and slightly polished, but that’s about all.  Sometimes too much evolving can be a bad
thing. Its no good over-analyzing the music, it just flat-out warrants being
checked out if any of the above references resonate with you. Interestingly,
each tune on CYLS, covers the gamut
of each of those afore-mentioned bands, making for a more diverse listening
experience. Peter Furiuele admirably handles most of the lead vocals, but
brother Nick slips in a few of his own, lending his Ray Davies-cloned voice to
a couple of my favorite numbers here, “Beatnik Angel Georgie,” “You Want It”
and “Mexican Coma” among them. On “Beatnik” especially, you’d think that you
stumbled on some lost Kinks classic, it rings so true. The title track captures
them at their peppy, poppy best. A happy, upbeat number that should brighten
any darkened corners in your brain. “Come Alive” features surf-jangle guitar
sandwiched in the center of ‘60’s pop, opening and closing the number. Shifting
into what sounds like a Sadies tune, “Light In the Sky” has that surf-cow sound
the Toronto quartet are famous for. Kowabunga! If you can imagine hearing The
Strokes doing a ‘50’s doo-wop song, there’s “Jessica” – “whoa, oh whoa”s and
all. Gears are downshifted the most for a slow, graceful, baroque,
Spanish-style ballad called “Esmarelda,” revealing a more sentimental side. The
band takes us back before modern Brit-pop with the Mersey-Beat/British Invasion
flavored “Make You Mine.” It dovetails into the stuff The Sorrows did or The
Flamin’ Groovies might have done on Shake
Some Action.


Count Yer Lucky Stars is sure to be high on the critics’ picks
again and finally garnering the band the limelight they so richly deserve.
There’s no luck involved here, just sheer energetic and joyful abandon when
they cut loose. The Stars are shining, as you’ll discover if you give CYLS a test drive on your ears.          


        DOWNLOAD: “Beanik
Angel Georgie,” “Light In the Sky,” “Count Your Lucky Stars”  BARRY



Leave a Reply