Northampton-based indie rock band LuxDeluxe’s newest 12-track record, Let’s Do Lunch, is a meditation on crafting the perfect two to three minute pop song. The group draws its influence from classic bands like the Beatles, NRBQ, and the Rolling Stones, and excels at crafting songs that sound like they’re off a late 1960s rock record that has just been unearthed from a time capsule.
LuxDeluxe consists of lead singer Ned King, Jacob Rosazza on bass, Gabe Bernini on clavinet, Jake Edwards on drums, and Caleb Rosazza on guitar. Let’s Do Lunch was released on July 14.
There’s a lot of irreverent humor scattered throughout the record, but the most notable can be found on the opening track, “Welcome,” in which a bustling danceable tune with catchy guitar lines is played before the band breaks the fourth wall and one of the members addresses listeners directly. “The record was made in our basement in the fall of 2015/ We hope you enjoy it.”
“Keep Your Distance” has nervous kinetic energy reminiscent of post punk band the Feelies. It’s the kind of song made for lively awkward dancing. Caleb Rosazza’s guitar lines are angular and raw with melody lines that twist and contort. The drums are snappy, keeping a solid beat, before evolving into more complex beats. Random Beatles-esque “Ahh!!” group vocals that enter at surprising moments are the musical equivalent of comfort food.
“I Love You, I Love You” is the instant noodles of nostalgia. It’s a song that seems to be warped out of time and space from the early 1970s to the present. From the “La la la la” group vocal hook and George Harrison-inspired guitar work, to the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet era piano lines and the cool and collected rock frontman vocals courtesy of King, this is a song that you’ll likely think you’ve heard somewhere before.
Dire Straits would love, “Fishing,” a song that rocks just as much as it rolls along with a seductive groove. “She’s the one/ She’s calling out my name/ On the phone/ She’s rolling like a train/ She got it all/ She sing it for sure/ She’s my little baby/ All I ever wanted,” King sings with a bluesy inflection that’s like a cross between Mick Jagger and Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band. The bridge on this features funky clavinet, before going into a calculated guitar solo that’s like a roots rock version of Led Zeppelin.
“Start of Something” has more of a 1980s alternative rock sound in the vein of the Replacements. The verse mixes heavy acoustic chordal hits with subdued electric guitar riffs, before expanding into a shimmering and beauteous wall of sound of arpeggiated guitars that’s like wrapping the listener in a homemade sweater.
“People changing around me/ Getting sick of my clothes/ Fights over luck and money/ And the lack thereof,” King sings on the song’s verse with a sense of discontent and yearning.
“Hey Girl” is a delicate love ballad that opens with a duet between two acoustic guitars. White noise and background conversations pop in and out of the song as King croons out a bluesy lullaby. “And I can’t help myself/ And you/ You’re just something else/ It’s time/ It’s time to let me see/ That you/ Should feel the same way about me.”
The most avant-garde track on the record takes a page from “Revolution 9” from the Beatles. “Revolution 11” is a sound collage that mixes bits and pieces of previous songs on the record together with irreverently hilarious outtakes and live tracks. “Can we do one more, right now?” one of the members of the band says, before switching to a bossa nova tinged guitar solo.
Let’s Do Lunch ends with the sublime, “Goodnight,” a whimsical psychedelic song with wispy and heart breaking vocals. This song would be right at home among the experimental pop of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Smile Sessions.
LuxDeluxe’s Let’s Do Lunch isn’t afraid to wear its influences like a badge of honor. In fact, that’s what’s most attractive about the band’s newest work. However, it doesn’t feel like much new ground is being covered to move beyond those influences. Yes, there is an experiential side to the record, but it serves as more of a homage and less of a voyage into the unknown.
That said, LuxDeluxe should be commended for the ease with which nostalgia pours out of almost every song on this record. The band emulates some of the greats without ever sounding contrived or like a poor imitation. That’s a testament to LuxDeluxe’s songwriting skills to carry the torch of their rock forebears while also putting their own twist on the thrills, joy, and rebellious spirit of rock n’ roll.
To purchase or listen to Let’s Do Lunch visit LuxDeluxe’s Bandcamp page at http://www.luxdeluxe.bandcamp.com.
Chris Goudreau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.