The Phantom Tollbooth
Gong Show
Artist: Blame Lucy
Label: Gray Dot
Length: 12 tracks / 38:57
 
A few years ago, exhausted by grunge's lengthy radio reign, it seemed many were once again proclaiming rock'n'roll to be dead. A new king was named: electronica. But if you turn on alt/rock radio or even Top 40 these days, you'll notice that the throne hadn't changed families just yet. The second or third generation grungers like Creed and Days of the New have joined grandpa Pearl Jam and tons of energetic, post-grunge popsters like Semisonic, Matchbox 20, Big Wreck, and dozens more in still filling the airwaves.
 
Blame Lucy falls happily in that last group, modern rock given life by grunge's last gasps but drawing on plenty of syrupy pop hookery to keep going. They remind of Common Children vocally and musically, only without that band's acoustic and aggro-extremes. The vocals move between modern Beach Boys-ish harmonies and that clean-with-a-hint-of-raspy-whisper style of Common Children. The tempo is pretty even throughout the album, but there's definite variation in the guitar tones and songs. Nothing new or exceptional, just average, well-played modern radio rock that you can belt along with as well as any radio-hit band. The lyrics are personal but full of Christian thoughts and themes, so that the average believer will be able to follow right along in agreement. Good stuff.
 
By Josh Spencer    (10/27/98)