Luck of Aleia is the heartland-emo band featuring Caulfield Records owner Bernie McGinn -- Six Songs is a thoroughly solid collection of hooky, driving tracks which combine the bombast of emo with a jangling indie-pop influence. The result is well-written enough to please fans on both ends of this spectrum.
I had to get this release. Just go to the Caulfield website (link at the bottom in case you don't know it by heart) and go into the jukebox section and listen to the song "Happy Birthday". That's what I've done a few times in the past couple of weeks. Once you've heard it, you'll want to buy this too.
LOA have the guy who is in charge of the 'field singing, and cool - it's not often you get people who can do 1 job great, let alone 2 or 3. And Bernie not only runs a great record label, but his spot on, noisily sung vocals are a perfect fit for the jumpy indie rock that is present on most of the 6 songs here.
"Happy Birthday" sounds even better on record than on scratchy real audio. Just listen as the Promise Ring-esque chorus on this one flow out the speakers, and get the lyrics "Of all my bad ideas, this one takes your cake, and throws it in the street". Neato. Melodic and poppy, with touches of Braid and some other bands, I've seen Superchunk mentioned - I don't have much for reference but wouldn't say that's off the mark. They have a similar idea to both bands on what pop should be. And it just so happens to measure up with my thoughts too.
Most of the songs tend to bounce you a long, blurring the jangly guitars into the more crunchy bits to create a super cool sound, and drive things a long when it gets a bit faster. They do have a couple of slowies too, but they don't spoil things.
Worth picking up totally, be interesting to see if a future full length can develop the band even more.Andy Malcolm
This album is quite good and has many original breakdowns, not to mention the good ear for harmonies. However, this is an Indie rock band from the Midwest on a local Midwest label and who should not be on this site for national distribution.
Amazon's Customer Reviews
whilst bumbling around on last.fm i noticed that these guys had under 500 listeners, which perplexed me. i never really thought of them being that obscure or unknown, for the simple fact that their album came out on caulfield, and therefore everyone remotely interested in that period of emo should have checked it out by now. i guess that's not the case though. ok, so luck of aleia only ever released this 6 song 10" / cd, and it featured caulfield head honcho bernie mcginn, formerly of sideshow - a band i never really 'got'. this six songer from 1999 or so would have been one of the last true midwestmo releases before that period pretty much shrivelled away. the music is bouncy and kind of poppy, with little mathy inflections not far off the braid path. my favourite song on here remains 'happy birthday', which is super catchy and has a great driving chorus. other bands that will come to mind whilst listening to this are the promise ring and superchunk. each song clocks in around the 4 minute mark or so, but they tend not to outstay their welcome.
if you are a fan of the midwestmo sound, then you should give this one a listen. it's a shame that this kind of style was pretty much consigned to the musical dustbin for almost a decade, but you can still hear some of the elements that make it such a fun listen in new bands such as everyone everywhere and pswingset.
It's hard to believe how much a band can get across in a half-dozen artifacts of their song writing work. After sweaty practice sessions, conversations hours later over coffee about the recent batch of songs, and then performing the output in front of an audience of onlookers and listeners, this mini-album is the end-product. Distilling the live energy of their high-energy 4/4 metabolism, Luck of Aleia have posted a sensational drawing on the proverbial refrigerator door for all of us to witness. Born of a melodic punk rock lineage, Luck of Aleia have already outwardly extended yearning hands for the kids to join in. Captivating, seductive punk rock for all ages.
You remember that guy in junior high chorus? Not much of a voice, but it went to his head because he got the lead in ŒOklahoma' so he formed a garage band with his older cousin or something and kept everybody up nights trying to sound heartfelt? Somebody should have told him he sucked. Otherwise you end up with bands like this one. Six extremely plain songs of love and various higher emotions on a nicely-shaped CD that melts real good in a tire fire, I'll bet.