No. 2 – What Does Good Luck Bring

No. 2
What Does Good Luck Bring

No. 2 is fronted by the former second head of the acclaimed group Heatmiser, Neal Gust, which also included Elliot Smith. This is Gust’s second CD leading his own band, and he has brought many influences into his songwriting and craft. No. 2 backed up Elliot Smith on his XO tour and obviously took away something in their aproach to music away from that experience. Sam Coomes of Quasi guests on one track on this CD, an impressive track that makes full use of his own unique vocals. Gust incorporates a lot of different mixes into his pop, and he will have you go through a couple of different phases.
“A Little Confusion” starts with each instrument locking into a tight groove that balances nicely. The song eventually kicks into another gear, moved along by a funky guitar part and solid rhythm backing. This piece is a little bit like pop heaven, which rides a nice groove throughout, very nicely executed. “More, More” is the track that Sam Coomes appears on and rocks out a little more with a good vocal performance. It has quite a spark to it, but falls a little flat compared to the first track.
“Strangers March” shows Gust tackling a song in a little bit of an Elliot Smith veign with its rhythmic acoustic work and dour mood. It is made more impressive by some nice floating keyboard parts, and Gust shows he is very adept at this style. “8:45 AM” has a nice fok/country feel with it’s galloping beat and repetitive instrumentation. “Travelling” is another good example of the great pop Gust can compose and perform. This track carries a subtle funkiness that goes along with the emotion of the song and vocals nicely.
Gust shows himself to be an equal of his former bandmate and a few others in the guitar-pop scene. He is a very good songsmith, and it sounds like his creations are compact pieces as labors of love. This record shows that the band is ready to come out of the shadows and sneak up and surprise people. Gust shows himself very competent in what he decides to tackle and comes off as a winner. This is a wonderful CD of well above average pop songs that deserve the listener’s attention.