Label: The Sign Records
It’s fair to say that most things I write about are on the extreme side of the metal spectrum, with lots of angry, dark, or otherwise bleak music being written about. This isn’t one of those records. Good Luck, the debut album from Spanish four-pieces Lizzies is a prime piece of old-school, NWOBHM-esque heavy metal, the kind that is all-but impossible not to enjoy. The energy and enthusiasm of the band is contagious, but that would count for little if the song-writing wasn’t up to scratch. As it happens, Good Luck contains some of the best heavy metal this side of the 80’s, and I don’t think I could love it more if I tried. It may not necessarily be the best album released this year, but it’s looking set to be the one I enjoy listening to the most.
There’s no disguising that Lizzies play a brand of metal that arguably hit its peak some 30 years ago, and to be fair to the band, they don’t try to do anything new or change a formula that was long ago perfected. Instead, they nail it to, well, perfection. Lizzies take the lessons of the old masters and build on what they handed down, drawing from the template of the likes of Saxon, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy, and crafting some superbly written songs that also let their own personality and attitude come through. Each one of these tracks is packed with catchy hooks and strong choruses, sure to get stuck in your head in the best possible way, practically demanding to be recognised as the future anthems they should rightfully be.
Even among such a strong album, a few tracks manage to stand out. Pick of the bunch is third track “Viper”, three and a half minutes of classic metal perfection. It’s easy to see why it was previously released as a single – Elena’s vocals are strong and full of melody, with just the right hint of a rough edge, whilst towards the end of the song, Patricia unleashes one of the strongest guitar leads this side of K.K. Dowling you’re ever likely to hear. The rhythm section are no slouches either, with Saray in particular displaying many impressive drum fills throughout. It’s been a year since I first heard the song, and I’m still convinced it’s absolutely perfect, in the same way that “Ace Of Spades” or “Breaking The Law” are.
I don’t want to focus just on this one song though, because Good Luck is an album filled with heavy metal brilliance. “Night In Tokyo” and “Russian Roulette” display a more measured, mid-tempo side to the band that is no less effective (and has long been a staple of NWOBHM and classic metal – just think of, say, “Remember Tomorrow” by Iron Maiden). Elsewhere, “Speed On The Road” is full of attitude and power, and is absolutely irresistible; it wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the first two Iron Maiden albums. Finally, closer “8 Ball” has a dark, haunting undercurrent, but is still undeniably enjoyable and fun.
It’s rare to hear an album like Good Luck. It’s not just that it takes a classic style of metal and makes it sound fresh and vital, but that it takes it and makes everything else sound almost obsolete and pointless in comparison. This is one of the most exciting heavy metal records I’ve heard since I was 17 and was obsessed with Iron Maiden. I do worry that this review may be over-selling it, and I’m well aware that I’m probably not assessing it critically; but on the other hand, if an album can inspire such excitement and enthusiasm, drawing comparisons to such classics of the genre, isn’t that enough? Good Luck is absolutely superb.
Good Luck can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp. It can also be purchased on vinyl via Bandcamp; at the time of writing, the CD version has sold out.