SUPER LUXURY – Mystery Thriller Teen Drama EP

Super Luxury describes their sound as being “noise rock in the key of a party”.  There’s always time for a bit of discordance, but when it comes to rock music, unless we’re talking Poison, Mötley Crüe, or LA glam bands in general, the word “party” can be somewhat troublesome. One of the last times REAL GONE encountered an act whose work got described with that particular noun, we had the misfortune of running into Fantazzmo.  That album was not so much a party, more of an egotistical, grubby sex-fest – and a mildly disturbing one at that. However, since Super Luxury’s online bio includes a quote from a note of rejection from Leeds City Council, they obviously have a sense of humour.  We should therefore suspect that their use of the word party was purely ironic.

If you dig music with heavy influences from The Jesus Lizard and other angular noise from the 90s (particularly that from labels such as Amphetamine Reptile and Glitterhouse) chances are, you’ll dig Super Luxury, since they’re rather enjoyable in a lo-fi-ish, garagey kind of way.  The three tracks here are short but brimming with intensity, as amp-cranked distorted riffs and scratchy vocals collide together in a rather forceful manner.

Rather forceful, yes, but not always entirely direct: despite clocking in at under three minutes, ‘Mystery Teen Drama’ comes with almost a minute’s worth of instrumental intro where the drums have a tough sound and feedback squalls give the impression that bigger things are afoot.  They are indeed – and the main tune combines a slightly ugly riff with off-key lead work creating decent enough results.  For this first number, the vocals are delivered surprisingly sparingly, with Nodwell yelling almost indecipherably at occasional intervals.

Lyrically, the oddly named ‘Kellogg’s Wasps’ throws out a bunch of oblique remarks about bees, honey and cereal and makes little sense. Musically, it shows a much more direct side to the band as a heavy-ish riff carries the piece. While Chris and Charlie’s playing is not angular enough to be considered arty, nor crunchy enough to even approach anything metal, the sound of their guitars still brings an uncompromising style to the fore, which intercuts the heavy riffing with staccato moments.  This creates an uneven, yet oddly enjoyable listen.

‘Ghostesses’ tackles the subject of (mis)interpreting female signals.  The simple lyrics are as pointed as the tune that backs them, but since – once again – the voice is quite hard to grasp in places, it probably doesn’t matter too much if you don’t follow the narrative, no matter how basic it may be.  In terms of aggression, relative melody and all round indie-rock fuzz, it’s business as usual for Super Luxury here, but drummer Hamish gets to cut loose on some more groove-based playing, and with that, there comes a feeling of the end performance having a more energetic feel to it overall.

With a proper old-school DIY spirit, Super Luxury have chosen to distribute physical copies of ‘Mystery Teen Drama’ on cassette!  For the many of you who no longer have a cassette player – or, indeed, are too young to remember when the pocket-sized medium was popular – the band also offers downloadable mp3s.  You can have those for FREE if you’re that way inclined – though since they’re being offered on a “pay what you want basis”, the band would probably appreciate a quid or two.  The whole EP can be streamed/downloaded below.

September 2012