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Luxury Apartments – “Luxury Apartments”

Luxury Apartments – “Luxury Apartments”

by Tim Buck (@aidmoozic)

As an artistic and cultural phenomenon, punk rock has gone through numerous incarnations over the past fifty years. Although not all of these manifestations have stood the test of time, the genre’s first emergence in the 1970s remains a fixture in music history. To this day, punk rock continues to inspire new artists; one of them is the London trio Luxury apartments, whose approach to music adheres to minimalism and strict DIY ethics. You could argue that these elements are fundamental to the essence of punk.

After working on the London venue circuit for a number of years, their… self-proclaimed The debut album is finally here. It’s certainly built up anticipation, as the band is now tasked with distinguishing themselves from plenty of other bedhead-riddled punk bands. Have they accomplished such a feat? We argue that this is the case, and the methodology behind it all is simply a matter of going back to basics.

The album opens with the title track “Luxury Apartments” and there is a clear sense of non-compliance from the start; The raspy, treble-heavy guitar wavers at a lethargic pace before everything culminates in an intense, head-banging attack. Raw energy is immediately palpable and is further interrupted by Matt Turners scratchy, shouted vocals and a guitar line that sounds like it’s being played wrong on purpose – a wonderfully cathartic way to start things off. The song ends with a recorded phone call to the UK government’s Universal Credit. A customer service representative answers with a distinct Scottish accent, moving us seamlessly into the next song, “Outside Looking In.” Here we see more attention to melody. This will subtly echo throughout the rest of the album, revealing Luxury Apartments’ skill at creating – dare I say – catchy tunes.

But ultimately, it’s their stubborn, uncompromising spirit that reminds us that this is as much about attitude as it is about musicality. “Energy” begins with a lightweight, descending major-key riff before gradually evolving into something more ominous. There is a creeping tension that draws us into a darker landscape. Conversely, the hyperkinetic, fast-cut guitar intro of “Wire” has the unpolished vibrancy of early Parquet Courts, capturing the slacker-punk spirit. A straightforward kick-snare drum beat keeps the momentum flowing in the song. Turner delivers his lyrics with a snarling belligerence, driving out each syllable with the intensity of someone who has just chewed something rancid. His voice has an enduring vitality that gives a satisfying boost to the aggression.

Luxury Apartments’ debut embodies punk in its most authentic form. It is distilled, unfiltered and purist, free from unnecessary ornamentation that could weaken its impact. Fans longing for the punk ethos of the late 1970s will no doubt find it a breath of fresh air, due to the fact that it prioritizes real expression over everything else. Simplicity and directness are the name of the game. If it’s not broken, well, you know…