Reto Burrell takes no prisoners on Lucky Charm which from the first note to the very last has but one intention – that everyone has a good time. The Swiss songwriter and his well-matched band offer up ten prime cuts of timeless roots-rock that cover a variety of familiar topics – finding the right person, leaving the wrong person, pride and principles, incipient paranoia, and life viewed as a Sisyphean task of endurance. Although love rears its head in the lyrics on a couple of occasions this is a collection that doesn’t
have room for any of that childish slushy romance and soft balladeering – living takes energy and Lucky Charm comes fully charged.
The nearest to a downbeat track is The Journey which blends piano, acoustic guitar and mournful pedal steel in the album’s sparsest
arrangement – but with an uplifting turn of phrase on the vocals it remains on the right side of depression, and lyrics which ultimately are celebratory moving from “My shoes are worn and the soles are thin / The leather’s torn and rain gets in” to “The journey’s long but I don’t care / It’s the going-on not the getting there”. Far more typical though are crunching rockers like Hit The Ground with Burrell’s flaming guitar solos or Come Rain Come Shine which similarly catches fire with the rich Southern Rock flavoured playing of Ewald Heusser – who also adds some excellent slide guitar on Right Beside Me. With the band filled out with a solid rhythm section of Toby Bachmann and Rafael Wolf, and Thomas Kull adding all things keyboardey there is a consistency of excellence to the playing throughout. What more can you ask of a rock band than that they should have songs with good lyrics, a singer that can sing and a group of players who can rock?
Certainly Lucky Charm is hardly likely to shake the foundations of your world either through original lyrical insight to the emotional world of human experience or through avant-garde musical innovation – but not everything has to. If you’re looking for a well-crafted and solid set of roots-rock tunes then this album is exactly what you need. Play loud – and enjoy.