GUN CLUB, THE: Lucky Jim: LP

May 20, 2014

Recorded twelve years after Fire of Love, Lucky Jim(1993) showed that Jeffrey Lee Pierce was not one to rest on his laurels. Although in ill health, Pierce was at the height of his musical powers, backed by arguably the Gun Club’s finest lineup: Romi Mori (bass) and Nick Sanderson (drums). Some of Jeffrey’s best songs appear on Lucky Jim, notably the title track and “A House Is Not a Home.” Jeffrey Lee was so far removed from his Fire of Love-era, psychotic-preacher persona by this point that no trace of it remained. Pierce was completely at ease with himself, no longer working within his limitations (with the exception of vocals—Jeffrey did a lot with a little) as he had long since honed his craft. The influence of Jimi Hendrix and electric blues are present on Lucky Jim. The Gun Club had completely moved away from a band centered on a clever, conceptual punk interpretation of the blues into a rock group that could do just about whatever it wanted. With Lucky Jim, Jeffrey Lee Pierce transitioned well into the ‘90s, with no signs of artistic weakness. Unfortunately, after years of substance abuse, it was his body that couldn’t hold up. Lucky Jim, from all accounts, was a dismal record to make and the Gun Club’s last. It’s a shame this lineup of the Gun Club didn’t continue, and an even greater shame that Jeffrey Lee Pierce passed away a short time later at only thirty-seven years of age. Lucky Jim was criminally ignored when originally released and, if I’m not mistaken, was only available on CD. That’s disappointing, as the record ranks as one Jeffrey Lee’s best. This vinyl reissue was long overdue and serves as a reminder of what an exceptional songwriter and musician Jeffrey Lee Pierce was. 

 –ryan (Bang!,