This San Franciscan four piece are dealing in a very popular sound at the moment, namely synth pop dusted with a smidgen of new wave. Thanks to the likes of The Killers or even Peaches this kind of stuff is establishing a weighty foothold over the current music scene. The question is do you really need another band of this ilk fighting to get in to your CD racks?
Luxxury are a difficult band to really love on CD. As you hear these songs, you can imagine that as a live proposition they would be an enormous amount of fun – seething synths, pounding funky bass, and the reassuring thud of a bass drum that drives simple yet effective drum patterns. Beneath all of this however, there’s really little substance.
“Ah, but this is dance music. Who needs substance if there’s a killer groove?” you may well say, but Luxxury are obviously trying to add depth and controversy via their lyrics, and it doesn’t really work as well as it might.
Take Dirty Girls (Need Love Too) or Sex With Rich People, two titles that are no doubt designed to prick the interest as you peruse the back cover. Both tracks are about as likely to make you feel like a horny disco beast as a party political broadcast.
It’s not the robotic nature of the drums, or the coldness of the synths, it just feels like they’re trying way too hard. There’s nothing more desperate than trying too hard, or so I’ve read in Cosmo. Many of these songs are a one paced, offering little in the way of variety, and lack invention.
There are moments when the spirit ofThe Human League or Heaven 17 are tapped into. The One You Adore is a cheeky little imp of a song, blending a monotone Numanesque verse with a cheese drenched chorus that has more in common with the Eurovision song contest than glacial synth pomp.
Understood sounds as if the band dyed their hair black half way through recording the album having discovered a pile of dusty Sisters of Mercy albums under a crusty mattress. Revved up guitars, and off kilter time changes pull the band in a different direction and it’s one that suits them far better.
Vanity Fair picks the pace up towards the end of the album, and lays down Luxxury’s raison d’�tre: “We’ve got synthesisers and white leather boots, we’re going far: we have no equal,” intones Baron von Luxxury (as he is no doubt known in his local).
No equal? I’m not so sure. Still the song is a fairly enjoyable romp that, if you let you mind wander you can imagine David Bowie thumping out if he’d employed Sheep on Drugs as his backing band.
All in all, it’s a a patchy offering, not entirely awful, but far from jaw dropping. Rock and Roll might be evil, but for the time being with this as the alternative, I’ll take my chances with Beelzebub.