Continuing to creep out from the shadows of Elliott Smith's legacy, Neil Gust returns with another slab of uniformly solid indie rock with What Does Good Luck Bring?. Like their debut, this set is built around twisting chord progressions and no-frills guitar rock, with few creative missteps or attempts at unqualified brilliance found. A first-rate songwriter in his own right, somewhere between the snakey fuzziness of Lou Barlow and the hook-friendly catchiness of Matthew Sweet, Gust presents a dependable set of gimmick-free songs that are pushed by an understated energy and subtle complexity. That lack of gimmickry, however, might ultimately hinder he and his bandmates from finding a persona all their own, which given the uncontrollable circumstances of Smith's rise to critical acclaim is made all the more difficult. Sadly, one gets the impression that Gust would almost have to make a huge, sweeping artist statement to avoid simply being known as "the guy who used to be in Elliott Smith's other band," which is unfortunate, because albums as solidly varied as What Does Good Luck Bring? deserve better.
AllMusic Review by Matt Fink