There’s a delicate balance between confident defiance and heart-on-your-sleeve vulnerability that gives punk music its real appeal—Corvallis’ Dumb Luck straddles that line with ease. The six songs on the band’s debut EP Tides (2015) are fast, loud, and short, with the longest song, in true punk form, clocking in at 3 minutes and 16 seconds. Justin Groft (guitar) and Caitlin Garets (bass) trade off on lead vocals, and most songs feature at least one group sing-along. Buzz-saw guitars spit out relentless eighth notes over Wes Walker’s pounding drum beats. You expect broken strings, sweat, and blood.
Plenty of pop-punk bands exist primarily to be loud and exciting, writing lyrics as an afterthought. Not so here. The lyrics are where Dumb Luck especially shines, successfully avoiding pop cliches while they grapple with the existential angst of adulthood. The title track questions the stability of our lives, asking, “Are we playing at survival?” and concluding that the “Final message is you’re on your own. / No one will catch us when we fall.”
The track Four Corners confronts the confines of religion: “Brush up on your history. / It’s a new disease… There will be no progress, no leap forwards, until your empire burns down.” Heavy stuff.
Dumb Luck’s band members are currently mixing their as yet untitled follow-up EP, which they expect to release in early fall. They will be performing with The Carys and South Korean band …Whatever That Means at Interzone Cafe on Tuesday, July 26. Want to get an upfront listen? Head on over to https://dumb-luck.bandcamp.
By Daniel Watkins