As angsty pop-punk goes, you’ll be hard pressed to find too many better examples than ‘The Best of Luck Club’ this year. Aussie vocalist Alex Lahey is at her best, rocking out with tuneful ruminations about love, mental health, self-doubt and vibrators. Opener ‘I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore’ sets the tone with a breakneck chorus with jaded lyrics. Lahey makes the everyday feel like something to belt out at the top of your lungs and throw yourself around a moshpit to, and on this second album, she’s added a directness to her sound that pushes the songs further without diminishing their fighting spirit.
‘Am I Doing It Right?’ slips arena-rock guitar lines into a defiant punk jam, while ‘Isabella’ showcases Lahey’s sharp sense of humour, a tongue in cheek love-letter to a love-toy. The piece de resistance, however, is lead single ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’, packing so much awesome into its four minutes. The chorus is a burrowing earworm, the rhythm a pop-rock headrush and the saxophone solo is E-Street worthy in its joyous delivery. Seriously Dear Reader, Upset challenges you to name a better sax solo this decade.
There are a few more chilled out moments, as on the piano and acoustic ‘Unwritten History’ which brings a considered side to Lahey’s songwriting. But the most fun is to be had with the energetic, in-your-face punk shout-alongs. Luckily, there are plenty of those to go around.