Bless Luxembourg. They're even trying to write the review for me with their press notes. They also take pride in having a "real life audience rather than a virtual one", before going on to say how "myspace had no part in generating the word of mouth...".
Listening to the Cure meets Pulp of 'We Only Stayed Together For The Kids' ("it's years since I have seen you without clothes"), however, it's quite easy to see how people (and the Gay Times) have shown their interest in the band. The aforementioned track is just one of thirteen in a concept album focussing on "small dramas". It's also a previous single and the best thing on here, lyrically depicting a failed relationship ("we wont feel pain, just rage") and how the couple only stay together for their kids. Blimey. Bet that's a fun house to live in. Move over Pat Sharp.
'What The Housewives Don't Tell You' is Morrissey's best song on 'You Are The Quarry'. Unfortunately, Sir Moz forgot to record it and filled his album with sub-par tracks with stupid titles instead. Nevermind though, because Luxembourg must have been able to mind-read, as they recorded it instead. How very kind, sirs. It's sarcastic and playful ("I'm stuck at home with a thousand housewives, they're such a scream"), easy to sing along to in the bath and a potential single so all's good there then.
Sometimes, Luxembourg do wear their influences a bit too heavy on their sleeves; 'Single' is Belle and Sebastian and 'Making Progress', likewise is 'Parklife' Blur. They do also have a tendency to slip into snoozeville too, and sexual innuendo filled ballad 'Mishandled' is only saved by a beautiful Jonny Grennwood-esque guitar solo to break up the tedious five minute dirge.
Despite these shortcomings, when Luxembourg are on form they really are on the cusp of indie pop greatness. 'Luxembourg vs Great Britain' is a soaring attempt to quell frustration. Guitars over-dub synths, rather than vice-versa which ultimately give the song a certain edge over some of the albums slower moments. 'Sick Of DIY' (the next single) is what the Manics would kill to sound like now, perfectly mixing 80s goth with Britpop- a pairing that sounds about as appealing as dog walking with George Michael on Hampstead Heath, but somehow manages to work. 'Faint Praise' on the other hand, would have sat perfectly on Strangeways, right where the abysmal 'Death At One's Elbow' stood.
When Luxembourg work, they're epic. When they don't, they come across a bit flat. Thankfully, this album is mostly the former.