I do not normally write reviews of music. This is for a couple of reasons. The first is that I do not listen to that much new music. The second is that I generally just end up adding single songs from albums. However, this is a different situation. I am going to review the new album by Lucky Boys Confusion Stormchasers
History of the Band
It is possible that you have heard the name “Lucky Boys Confusion”, also shortened to LBC, is likely a band you may have heard of before, but cannot place. The is because they had a single Hey Driver back in 2003 on their album Commitment. In fact, prior to Stormchasers, there were 8 previous albums.
The band hails from Naperville and Downer’s Grove, both of these are western suburbs of Chicago. The fact that some of the band went to the same school as I did, does not hurt. There is something that makes their latest album special; it is their first album since 2009.
The previous songs from the band have had a variety of styles. These range from pop, to rap, to ska, and even rock and roll.
If you listen to a lot of LBC’s songs, you will get a sense of what they are about. In the beginning of their career, a number of the songs revolved around two primary topics, “Life” and “Drugs”, specifically weed and alcohol. The latter is not covered as extensively as it has been in their past songs, but the former is absolutely a primary focus of the new album.
Stormchasers consists of 12 all new songs. They range from “traditional LBC” styles to more contemporary topics.
Some of LBC’s older songs covered “growing up” and maturing. There are a couple of song on Stormchasers that elude to more maturing. The two songs that most exhibit this are “Sun In My Eyes”, and “White Collar”.
For “Sun in my Eyes”, the following line exemplifies this.
How did we go from being so high to being so shallow?
This song describes the mellowing aspects to life, but also tackles the clarification of realizations as one ages. This song seems to capture the essence of how many individuals feel about their life.
The sun in my eyes doesn't bother me like it used to
The gossip and lies, they don't shake my world like they used to
And I don't need no paradise I don't need careless points of view
These lines all express how as we get older the things that used to seem like the biggest concerns, are no longer areas of concern.
White Collar is likely my favorite song from the album. It is one of the top songs that I have listened to from the album. As the title implies, “White Collar” goes on to describe experience as a White Collar worker, with a twist.
“White Collar” in particular describes how many feel about their job:
Aren't we all stressing out without any meaning? Chasing goals, put to you without any feeling Show up, get paid Hold on to your breathe while you plan your escape Show up, get paid
These previous lines directly sum up how some people feel about their job. I also think there may be a hidden meaning in this song, somewhat of a lament of what could have been. Which brings us to the next set of songs, ones that reflect on life experiences
One of the the mainstays of LBC’s music is their experience with record companies. This is most prevalent in the title track of their 2003 album, “Commitment”. The “Commitment” song describes the limitation that record labels can put on artists. There are actually two spiritual successors to the song “Commitment” on this album. The first is “Name in Lights”, the second is “Good Luck”.
“Name in Lights” is what one might call a cautionary tale. What I mean by this is “Name in Lights” describes, what I surmise an experience that LBC went through when they became more mainstream and garnered national attention. The cautionary portion is most apparent in the line
I lost sight of the target I got my name in lights
In this I think the band wants others to realize that while being a headliner is great, you can easily become distracted from the ultimate goal; playing and making music that the band and others enjoy. The advice within the song comes in the stanza:
Take ten shots at the half-moon Remember not to fall in love 'Cause after the buzz, the chase kid You'll get your name in lights
The song “Good Luck” is also a somewhat auto-biographical song about their experience with mainstream media. Most particularly the lines:
They skipped off to college We got a van from a record company
This is exactly what happened to the band. While their peers were going off to college, the band went to California in a van from their Record Company in 2000. One of the other aspects to LBC songs is a somewhat “screw you” attitude. This is shown most appreciably in the lines:
Burned out they call us Screw 'em, we got endless memories Punk Rock and the polish I hope it gave you something to believe
Even with the “screw you, I do not care what you think” attitude, there is still a bit of the “even though you are knocking us down, I still hope the songs meant something” feeling.
Songs about Life
There is one subject matter that prevails in LBC songs more than any other, “songs about life”. This is covered in three songs, the title track “Stormchaser”, “Burn a Little Brighter”, and “A Candle in the Window (Please Come Home)”.
Stormchaser is about two people, Johnny and Jamie. Both of these individuals are looking for a way to “feel alive”,
When nothing's beautiful You just want to disappear
Instead of doing something that they may regret, they decide to do something that changes this and likely outside of their comfort zone. So “Johnny built a rocket ship”, and “Jamie had the nerve to quit”. I think both of these lean towards a moral of the song. That moral is sometimes you have to do something drastic to make everything better in the end. This is definitely shown in the lines:
Stormchasers and stars Find out who you are Thinking like this can make life dangerous Thinking like this can make life dangerous Thinking like this can take life
On the subject of life, “Burn a Little Brighter” is one that I cannot tell if it is based on an actual incident, or merely captures a feeling about the state of America.
The song is about someone reminiscing about their fondest memories about a fallen classmate. I suspect this from the following.
And the best times that I remember Sneaking out the fire escape Playing "Never Surrender" But I never forget the officer said, "That you didn't come home from school today"
What this song is really about is school violence. Whether this is the shootings that make it into the national news, or just violence that many experience every day, I do not know. What makes me think this is the quote above along with this one:
There's something circling here on our street Everybody's got a taste for more It's a re-run, it's no mystery I've seen this one before All the outpour and the outrage was a spectacle to find The pretenders and grifters, yeah just left me so resigned Grandma saw this part of his jacket and said he'd want it to be mine Now Chicago burns a little brighter Yet tonight she burns a little brighter
If you take the quotes above and pair them with the following one, I think it paints the entire picture.
It was later on the corner The whole gang was getting high And when we talked about it, everyone had alibis Grandma always said there are different ways to say goodbye Now Chicago burns a little brighter I clench my fists a little tighter
This is only my interpretation of the song, but I think it is a plausible one. Regardless of what the actual meaning is, “Burn a little brighter” is a powerful song that can hit you on many levels.
The last song on the album is “A Candle in the Window (Please Come Home)”. This song is a song about a woman whose husband is off to war. She is remembering all of the good times when he was at home. This is captured in these lines:
Days flew by when you were with me Now missing you almost hurts Until the siren sound And feelings disperse
The song emphasizes that it will end at some point and to take solace in the dawn of a new day.
Sunrise don't cry Listen to the birds they sing that everything's all right He'll be home again to hold you He'll be home again to hold you tight The war is over Finally we can sleep The war is over Finally we can sleep
There could be another interoperation of this song. “A Candle in the Window (Please Come Home)” may not be about an actual war, but could be about an internal war, or struggle, about losing a loved one, whether that is due to death or just due do a breakup. It is also possible that the song fits both interpretations.
If you are a fan of previous Lucky Boys Confusion music, then Stormchasers will not disappoint. It is a whole new set of brand new songs. While everyone will have their own personal favorites, there are absolutely songs for everyone on the album. Stormchasers mixes what fans have come to expect from Lucky Boys Confusion, but also takes it all to a whole new level.
While I do not want to wait another eight years for a new album, I think the time has allowed the band to really hone its skill and create one of the best, if not the best, album they have done to date.
In the intervening eight years since their last release, technology has changed significantly. Most notably, the modern era of streaming. Even though streaming has become the norm I purchased the album. I did this not only to support the band, but also because I knew I would likely end up listening to the album many times. I recommend that everyone go and give it a listen today. I think you will be glad that you did.