The Marlboro Chorus – Good Luck

The Marlboro Chorus’ debut album, Good Luck, is an atypical record of 10 narrative indie-pop songs that succeed individually in all musical respects, but they also fit comfortably between and among each other. This commendable accomplishment results because The Marlboro Chorus unabashedly expresses its love for writing and playing melodic indie-pop with charming lyrics and instantly catchy hooks, all wrapped in pleasing and unstrained vocals.
Good Luck opens with the acoustic strumming of “Potters, Daisies,” and a smile uncontrollably conquers your face. The song reminds me of adolescent days, and the band verbally illustrates the scenery and setting in mere seconds. The buoyant piano that enters mid-song gives “Potters, Daisies” a summery afternoon, college bar feel. “The Unrulable Child” [sic] is sharper, with crunching guitars and heavier drumming, almost like a parade’s beats. The faster pace is energetic and exciting, with more quality vocals. “Mrs. Bury-The-Bone” is comical yet poignant and takes you on an emotional journey with dynamic moods and voices.
“The Discoverers” has a country feel due to the band’s impressive guitar playing and emphatic but measured drumming. “Car Parked, Girl Crying” has a certain ska element, however subtle, but Suggs rarely sounded as sincere and non-confrontational on Madness songs as B. Patric appears on this pop nugget that doesn’t exceed three minutes. “What’s Your Alignment?” is more low-key, with an instrumentally dominant second half. The Marlboro Chorus then picks you up and places you firmly inside one of the giant teacups at the amusement park to be jerked up and down throughout “Always One For Fun,” with a sing-song approach that comes to a sudden end.
“The Clock Puncher’s Carousel” is engaging, rushed guitar pop that would have fit in well on radio in 1982 as a refreshing change from good but overbearing, generic, glossy pop. Certainly, the track serves our need for escape from today’s programmed mass-consumption plastic pop, so devoid of the sincerity that shines brightest when the writer and performer are one and the same. In “Truly Sorry,” The Marlboro Chorus offers a beautiful, sad, evocative song about human relations. The patterned drumming and almost looping guitars give the song a cinematic sheen.
The band closes Good Luck with “The Endgame,” recalling Karl Wallinger’s finer moments with World Party. The Marlboro Chorus never sounds vocally challenged or flat, and on “The Endgame,” B. Patric sings almost with a British air until he changes singing styles for the chorus, with a deeper voice. Good Luck begins, continues, and ends with harmonious, genuinely affecting indie-pop songs. On a debut album without an encompassing thematic or aural plot, The Marlboro Chorus offers listeners 10 songs that consistently hit the mark lyrically and sonically as individual stories.