Album review: Luxury Mane, Isn’t This Great?

The third album in three years from the Billy Summer-led rock band

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Billy Summer, Kyle Lovell and Jay Schultz have averaged an album a year since forming Luxury Mane back in 2013. The third and latest Isn't This Great? – released on cassette and also available for download – picks up where last year’s fine Gold Standard left off, veering between hazy and glammy psych-pop, fuzzy garage rock and sinister post-punk marked by much guitar texture and warped effects.

Summer references love, self-doubt, drugs, people (both real and imagined) and various other topics in abstract and more frank narratives as he continues experimenting with his vocal technique. In the heavily New Wave-colored “Cokehead Corey” – which evokes fast conversations in dark-lit clubs – he adopts the sophisticated apathetic intones perfected by Morrissey and Robert Smith, “Solid State” has more unrestrained drones and brays, “Dreamlife” finds bright flickers of harmony and yearning warming his chanted refrain, his offhand croon takes on a husky quality in “Denny,” and in album highlight “Wake Up and Lose,” his vocals wheel and echo over the swirling, deliberately-paced instrumentals of a wailing guitar passage and effects that could be lifted direct from some unidentified ‘70s-era prog odyssey.

Critics’ Rating: 4 Stars.

Luxury Mane performs around town regularly; find out about upcoming live gigs on their Facebook Page, pick up a digital copy of the LP right here, and listen to a few tracks from said LP below.

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