The Luxury
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The Luxury

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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""Filled with sing-along melodies and punchy rhythms, this one is an obvious hit.""

The Luxury
This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Self-Released
Available Now

A wall of layered guitars - overdriven, with wah-wah and other effects - marks the dramatic opening of This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things from Boston band The Luxury. This first track, "Let Go", provides ample demonstration of the band's prodigious technical facility and tantalizingly hints at their space rock tendencies. From there, the album kicks into another gear with the melodic "Seven Stories". Filled with sing-along melodies and punchy rhythms, this one is an obvious hit. The dichotomy here of dark lyrics - " the song will always end the same/when they're the wrong words and we sing them anyway" - with decidedly catchy melodies is a trademark of the entire album.

The standout "Rockets and Wrecking Balls" features an intimate piano intro coupled with closely mic'd, hushed vocals. It illustrates Jason Dunn's undeniable songwriting ability, as well as keyboardist Brooks Milgate's talents - his playing is effective without being overblown. Certain tracks that are conspicuously influenced by R.E.M. or Oasis, like "So Easy" and "Malcontent", while tuneful, are the least interesting offerings on this album. Likewise, "Ocean's Limerick" comes across as formulaic psuedo-Celtic prog, not illustrative of The Luxury's true strengths.

"Covered in Smiles", however, with its early Police -meets-Nirvana stylings and wailing guitar solo, points to an auspiscious direction for the band. Here again, trademark dark lyrics lke "I'm a one-trick-hypocrite" belie the hook-laden music. Another highlight is "Stillborn Symphony", with its lush chord progressions and interesting melodic turns. One could even imagine a convinging Ibiza-style remix of this track. Powerful guitars overcome the quietude here and lead seamlessly to the final track, "Commonplace", with its big, melodic chorus. Dunn's appealing vocals throughout, vaguely reminiscent of Abandoned Pools' Tommy Walters, or even a more mellifluous Roger Waters, are well-suited to the material. Impressively self-produced, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things is a commanding first album from The Luxury. This is a band to watch.

- E Galand - Soundcheck Magazine (Austin, TX)


""Classic sounding without being derivative.""

The Luxury Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
11 Songs Self-Release

You might say Jason Dunn’s new band sounds like his old band because it’s still his voice, his guitar, and some of his songs, but I’d say The Luxury is a step up musically from the Halogens; this incarnation can blow the doors off the club, as well as do the various elegant takes on better-than-Coldplay anthemic pop, see the end of “Rockets and Wrecking Balls.” There, and on “Let Go,” the record’s opener, the change of lineup has produced a rock band with some Oasis in the big hummable choruses, long wah-wah outro solos, and oddly, some REM in the driving pop of “Seven Stories.” For good measure, there are nods to Revolver era Beatles in the weaving of strings and cool sounds into the CD’s sonic periphery on “Malcontent,” another track that blends the (excellent) singer at the piano with the big guitar sound in a way that's classic sounding without being derivative.

- Glenwood - The Noise (Boston, MA)


""Arena bombast with club intimacy""

The Luxury takes the Rumble title

Correspondent Scott McLennan was our man at the WBCN Rock ’N Roll Rumble Friday night:


The finals of the 31st annual WBCN Rock ’N Roll Rumble pitted polish, flamboyance, and grit against one another at the Middle East Downstairs Friday night, and in the end, polish conquered all as the Luxury took home the prize.

The pop rockers, playing in the wild card slot, faced off against the glam rock of Gene Dante and the Future Starlets and the guitar rock of the Dirty Truckers. A panel of five judges was left to decide which finalist, culled from an opening field of 24 bands, best played to its particular strength, and the Luxury left little room for argument.

The Luxury went on first, never the desired position in a battle of the bands. Yet rather than merely building up sandbags against formidable opponents, the band set a high standard with a wildly entertaining performance that never felt forced. It deftly deployed vocal harmonies and smartly employed keyboard-bolstered song arrangements to bridge arena bombast with club intimacy. Well-honed material such as the psychedelic “Malcontent” and gauzy “Rockets and Wrecking Balls” grounded the set, while new songs like the hard-charging “Next in Line” injected new energy.

The Luxury’s convincing Rumble win (one judge said the band was the runaway favorite) followed its selection to open for Coldplay last year at the TD Banknorth Garden, setting the stage nicely for a Luxury record release in July.

Singer Gene Dante and his Starlets offered a bit of lusty decadence that drew from such glam wellsprings as David Bowie and Duran Duran, while the Dirty Truckers kicked out old-fashioned rock bound up in roots and twang. Somewhere between the polar span separating the two, the Luxury found the sweet spot.

The Outlets, a Rumble band from the Class of 1981, performed a blistering special-guest set after the competitive rounds. The Barton brothers -- Rick on guitar, Alex on vocals -- expertly led their band through such past glories as “Knock Me Down” and “So Wired” that once defined Boston’s garage-punk-infused scene.

Witnessing the vets and aspiring Rumble participants together, it was easy to appreciate the expanse and continuity of the city’s vibrant music scene. - The Boston Globe


""The Luxury deftly balance prog leanings with pop sensibility. ""

THE LUXURY
Rumble winners leave the basement behind
By NEIL MIROCHNICK



In the mixing and mastering room of Jason Dunn's Mad Science Studios, which doubles as The Luxury lead singer's bedroom, a John Lennon action figure sits high on a window frame.

"You get kicked around for long enough and eventually you develop a taste for the dark, biting wit of Lennon," says Dunn, an eight-year Boston music scene veteran and self-described problematic pseudo-poet.

With The Luxury set to release their second full length, as champions of the WBCN Rock 'n' Roll Rumble, Dunn, the ex-frontman of The Halogens, is shining brighter than ever.

The Luxury opened for Coldplay at the TD Banknorth Garden and toured California last fall. They reached the Rumble final as wild cards, played first, didn't think they'd win and drank their way through three sets between their performance and unexpected coronation.

"Winning surprised the hell out of me," Dunn says. "I barely had any idea what was going on."

The Rumble prize package included studio time in five of Boston's top studios, giving The Luxury the opportunity to re-record an album cut in Dunn's home studio—an Allston basement converted into a live room with money Dunn made selling adult ads for the Boston Phoenix [at least they're good for something—Ed.].

"I always felt we were legitimate as a band, but winning the whole thing lends a palpable legitimacy," Dunn says. "People are paying attention now. ... We're still playing because we love it, but it used to be just because we love it. Now other people seem to legitimately love it too, which is amazing."

On In the Wake of What Won't Change, The Luxury's arena-Britpop races with car-chase intensity. Lush, four-part harmonies carry soaring synths and melodic guitars as The Luxury deftly balance prog leanings with pop sensibility. Without the British accent, Dunn sounds like Michael Stipe nailing an Oasis cover, reaching for notes he draws out.

"I love that huge sound augmented by vocal harmonies. I think the Brits have done a lot better with [that]," Dunn says. "[As an American playing Britrock], I probably in some ways hate my own band. But I try not to think like that."

If the band suffers an international identity crisis, none of the players do. Dunn says each member is "archetypal."

Keyboard-geek Steven Borek spends as much time tinkering with knobs as he does voicing chords. Before joining The Luxury, he analyzed DNA for a biotech company. Bassist Justin "Pez" Day plays like he's in AC/DC and refers to songs as "a piece of meat." Quiet and focused, it's easy to forget guitarist Daanen Krouth is in the room. When bandmates play Guitar Hero, Krouth practices fretboard technique in the corner. Inspired by Eddie Van Halen's virtuosity, Krouth got his chops in the Theater District, playing with the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra.

In the Wake of What Won't Change captures each member's musical personality, Dunn says, like a photograph. The title is a lyric Dunn wrote before he understood its meaning.

"'The wake of what won't change' is the struggle of reaching for things, trying to make your life bigger and better," Dunn says. Every single person in the world is reaching for something, whether it's an expanded social circle, financial situation or education. What won't change is that once these goals are accomplished, there's only something else to reach for."
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""It's a bold prediction, I know, but after listening for just two days - I don't think this band or the local music scene will ever be the same.""

Rock Heroes The Luxury unleash a Stellar Sophomore Album

Going out Weekend Edition!
Saturday Night, 7/11/09
The Scene: The Paradise in Boston

EXCITING and NEW - There is no doubt that a musical revolution of sorts is underway here in Boston. This city's music scene has been on the rise for a few years now and is nearly back to it's place of prominence years ago.... So many exciting new bands of note to speak about. An astronomical number of high end shows and a loyal fan-base (sometimes powered by the student population, sometimes even despite it) are helping Boston regain it's proper place as one of the American cities with the best music scenes. It's taken a good while to accomplish but with blood and sweat from bands like The Luxury - we are now in good stead.

Saturday is a special day for the Luxury as they will release In The Wake Of What Won't Change album, their incredible sophomore release. It's a bold prediction, I know, but after listening for just two days - I don't think this band or the local music scene will ever be the same.

"Nothing Comes to Mind"
from In The Wake Of What Won't Change

NEW MUSIC from THE LUXURY

Head of the Class - Powered by the resources of several local studios (a prize pack won by the Luxury for taking home the win in the 2009 WBCN Rock n Roll Rumble) and steered by the creative mind of frontman and resident sound engineer Jason Dunn - this new release is a piece of art. Parts of The Wake are achingly beautiful, while others are straightforward rockers but the production values, songcraft and musicianship here speak to the amount of time put into this labor of love. Heavily influenced by mid- and late- American 80's rock and British rock (both pioneers the Beatles and modern invasion bands like Duran Duran, Oasis and James) - Dunn and company have found their own niche by incorporating these sounds in a fresh, celebratory way. We will be talking about this record in more detail later this year as it already looks to be one of the better albums to be released nationally in 2009.

On Saturday night, The Luxury will let everything unfold over at the Paradise. Guest performers on their setlist include: The Click 5, Midatlantic and Aloud - making this one hell of a show. The Luxury's closing set on Saturday night may be influenced by the projection of films at the Paradise. The short movies, the works of amateur and student filmmakers should enhance that is already close to stimulation overload. Easily one of the best lineups we see on the calendar for the next month! (A challenge to the band, try to beat your own legendary Rumble Night One performance this year. It's the best I have ever seen you sound - just outstanding!) - Ryan's Smashing Life


""U2 big, Oasis big, even a smidge of Pink Floyd big.""

A wealth of possibility
Riding a yearlong winning streak, the Luxury takes nothing for granted

Sitting in the dining room of the Longhorn Steakhouse in the Fenway, chowing down on a Texas Tonion and adding to the happy birthday cheers of a nearby diner, the members of local pop-rock band the Luxury are pretty distant from the spoils to which their name aspires.

Guitarist Daanen Krouth is especially far, since, as a waiter at the restaurant, he’s actually serving his fellow band members and a reporter, occasionally stopping by to refill drinks and offer a quote. But the bright, family-friendly chain is as good a spot as any to discuss the future of a band with potential for mass appeal.

Constructed from the ashes of frontman Jason Dunn’s previous outfit, the Halogens, the current lineup of the Luxury will celebrate two years together in September and the release of its second album, “In the Wake of What Won’t Change,’’ tomorrow night at the Paradise Rock Club.

It’s a dream gig for the quintet - which includes Krouth, Dunn, drummer Stephen Foster, bass player Justin Day, and keyboardist Steven Borek - that has been on a serious winning streak in the past year.

Last summer, the band won a WFNX-sponsored contest to open for Britpop behemoths Coldplay at the TD Banknorth Garden, a moment they describe in superlatives like “fantastic,’’ “exhilarating,’’ and “not even frightening.’’ In April the Luxury emerged victorious from the annual WBCN Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble.

“The Garden and the Rumble were a good one-two punch of awesome,’’ says Dunn. “I was incoherent after the Rumble. It took me hours to make sense of it.’’

Each win was also a means to an end. The Coldplay money afforded them a chance to tour the West Coast. And the Rumble prize package included a bevy of professional recording time that the quintet, whose members are all in their late 20s and early 30s, used to re-record “In the Wake’’ to achieve their desired sound.

And that sound is big: U2 big, Oasis big, even a smidge of Pink Floyd big. That means that singalong hooks, memorable melodies, driving rhythms, close harmonies, and songs of the heart are all in the Luxury wheelhouse. Singer-songwriter and major Anglophile Dunn captains the ship with an affinity for the classics from the Beatles to My Bloody Valentine. “My production thing is just make it bigger, bigger, bigger. I think that’s the Def Leppard fan in me really,’’ he says with a chuckle between bites.

While the pop-metal titans aren’t the first name that bubbles up, songs like the urgent “Take It Back’’ and the zingy, warped “Nothing Comes to Mind’’ definitely have a British accent. Which is no surprise given Dunn’s proclivities.

“I figured out when I was about 19 that what all of my favorite bands ever had in common was that they were all British,’’ he says. “It was the sort of thing where if everyone else was into Billy Joel, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I kind of like Elton John more for some reason.’ I just think there’s a way with melody that comes from Europe.’’

The other members have various tastes - from Thelonious Monk to Slayer - but were happy to get on board as fans of Dunn’s songwriting. “It was a sound we could easily meld with, I think,’’ says Borek, the confessed band nerd.

With the Click Five, MidAtlantic, and Aloud at the Paradise Rock Club tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 at 877-598-8689 or

www.livenation.com.

“As soon as there was an ad out that they were looking for a bass player, I thought that’s something I want to get behind,’’ agrees the voluble Day. (Foster was absent from dinner because he’s playing a cruise ship gig in Hawaii for the next few months. Rob Gaggin of Day’s other band, Jet Lagger, is filling in.)

Winning the Rumble caught the band off guard - they made the finals on the wild card - but not other observers.

“It was anybody’s game, but I was not surprised that they took the whole thing in the end,’’ says Anngelle Wood, Rumble coordinator and host of WBCN’s “Boston Emissions.’’ “They’ve got it and they’re really good at what they do. I think they definitely have the makeup to be successful. They earned where they are now and wherever else they get will be through their own hard work.’’

The band is definitely ready to do the work, and the members’ easy interactions - a way of picking up one another’s sentences - bode well. As they talk about their modest hopes for the future, each member - save Krouth, who is now dropping off appetizers at another table - paints a part of the picture of what they’d like to achieve.

“If we could go out every night and play a room the size of the Middle East Downstairs to a relatively full house,’’ starts Day.

“Yeah, in multiple areas,’’ continues Dunn.

“That kind of capacity all over the country,’’ adds Borek.

“And Europe, that’d be awesome,’’ chimes in Dunn.

Day finishes up by saying, “and that’s about as big as most of the bands I actually like.’’

One thing is definitely on the docket for Dunn, however.

“One of my lifelong ambitions is to tour Europe, so I plan on making that happen,’’ he says. “Because frankly, all that I’ve been doing for the last year is reaching way higher than I can possibly reach, and it seems to be working out.’’ - The Boston Globe


Discography

2009 - In The Wake Of What Won't Change (LP)

Singles include "Straitjacket" (selected as mp3 of the week by the Boston Phoenix), "'Til Your Last Year" and "Getaway Car", currently enjoying radio play on college stations nationwide

2007 - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (LP)

Singles include "Seven Stories" (also chosen as mp3 of the week), "Rockets and Wrecking Balls", and "Malcontent", achieving airplay on over 150 terrestrial radio stations nationwide

Photos

Bio

"The Luxury are a band that you need to hear. In the Wake of What Won't Change has carved out the space between power britpop and big indie rock and filled it."
-The Coalition of Taste-Making Afficionados

"The Luxury is one of those bands that have that huge sound, that charisma, that draw and that intensity that really makes their set an experience rather than just another show."
-PlaygroundBoston.com

"A combination of old school and badass all bundled up." - Rockonboston.com

"Boston's best rock band" - ryanssmashinglife.com

"Boston's best rock band" - Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"Arguably the best band in the city" - RockonBoston.com

The Luxury took their place as a Boston area headliner immediately upon their first performance in 2005, offering a sweeping sound steeped in UK indie and American rock 'n' roll. The words "grand", "majestic", and "soaring" are among the recurring descriptions you'll find lurking in the band's press pages; as singer Jason Dunn would put it, "Airplanes, race cars, waves and zero gravity. That's what we're shooting for."

The Luxury's self-recorded and independently released debut (2007's "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things") was a success on college radio nationwide (spinning on over 150 college stations across the land) and cracked the CMJ charts for several weeks. The band also found their tongue-in-cheek "Malcontent" video featured on Fuse TV, ultimately capturing the attention of Coldplay, who selected The Luxury to open
August 2008's show at TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston Music Award nominees for Best Rock Act of 2009, winners of the 31st Annual WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble and twice named among Music Connection's Hot 100 Unsigned Artists, The Luxury continue to create visionary, epic sounds within classic-sounding songs and expand their reach worldwide and through the ether. Have a listen.