Luxembourg - Best Kept Secret

Jared O'Mara 08/12/2004

Rating: 4/5

Let's get one thing straight readers; this is not Pop Noir 5 piece Luxembourg's debut album. It is, much like the most recent- and still unfinished until the 3rd instalment hits cinema screens *mmmm Natalie Portman*- Star Wars Trilogy, a prequel to the real story and action. With that in mind children, settle back and let me begin:

A long time ago (well, just over 3 years ago in 2001) in a galaxy far, far away (well somewhere in the Big Smoke at least, which is kind of a different Galaxy to the rest of the country at least, I mean everyone's always rushing when I've been there, I just wanna say “slow down, you cunts!”, er, I digress')...

It is a period of civil war (or at least crap music releases -Travis and “The Invisible Band” album, for example). Rebel spaceships (Piloted by Singer David, Guitarist Rob, Keys boy Alex, Bassist Jon and Drummer Steve, maybe?), striking from a hidden base (somewhere in New Cross, possibly?), have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire (the music industry and it's puerile manufactured pop?). During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR (a.k.a. Simon Cowell and the BMG label?), an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet (with it's shite roster of talentless fuckwits?). Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia (David?) races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people (us fans of great music) and restore freedom to the galaxy...

Or maybe not. But 2001 was the year when the earliest of these demos and rarities were cut and the Luxembourg lads' lush lilts of homoeroticism and humour are certainly the antithesis and antidote to cheesy, manufactured pop music.

The album opens with their song from Angular records' well received 'Rip Off Your Labels' compilation, 'Let Us Have It' and this camp pop romp sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the album as Andy Bell (of Erasure) sound-alike David croons his heart and lungs out to epics such as an acoustic versions of recent single 'What the Housewives Don't Tell You', it's b-side 'Close Cropped' and the grandiose greatness that is 'Success Is Never Enough'.

The disputable musical highlight of the album comes on the Electro version of 'Lemon and Lime', with Alex's beautifully austere, almost oriental sounding keyboard loop embedding itself deep within your skin and subconscious (other contenders could also be found with David's Pinky and Perky like opening vocals on 'We Are The Resistance', Rob's edgy axemanship on 'Let Us Have It', or the tightness of Jon and Steve's respective bass and drums on 'Making Progress').

The undisputable lyrical highlight, however, is found in the song '(I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Can Give Me)', as a picture is painted of a luckless lovelorn loser of a lover being cuckolded by not one but eleven men (“I came home early and found you skulking in the bathroom with the local football team…It didn't look to me like you were planning Sunday Fixtures or discussing the finer points of the offside rule”)! Then the album comes to a close (via the dreamy 'Redux' version of 'Reasons For Losing Sleep') with a live version of 'In My Bed' where at the song's close the band implore the crowd to “come and talk to us” (Which, incidentally, you can do at the GIITTV G Spot Festival, Saturday 22nd January, Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green, London, where the band will be playing in addition to many other cool cats *shameless plug*)

In summary of this rare delight- to paraphrase both Luxembourg themselves (in their song 'Let Us Have It') and that bint Linda Barker (in those sofa ads) - I happen to have it and I happen to like it and I think you will too. Roll on their studio produced debut album, cos the Force is with these boys and they're Making Progress. They are the Resistance, the Search is over and Hope is rising! Jared O'Mara