“Look alive, see these bones,” confesses guitarist Matthew Caws in the opening track of Nada Surf’s newest album “Lucky.” It’s apparent that the repetition of the line works not only to fill its verse-chorus-verse tendencies, but it stands as a fair warning to the curious listener of a band that hasn’t released a full-length for three years. The line could even be a small nod to its epic 1996 single “Popular,” a hit to which the band will forever be attached.
The light guitar picking in “See These Bones” is followed by the commanding drumming of Ira Elliot and savvy bass lines of Daniel Lorca. The violin-filled verses sound like pages of Caws’ personal journal, and once you begin to feel any sympathy, the slow tempo changes. The once solemn and semi-depressing anecdotes stampede into a foot-stomping caveat, “What you are now, we were once. Just like we are, you’ll be dust.”
Elliot’s Ringo Starr-esque back-beat permeates through most of the songs