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Super Luxury – Ten Solid Years Of Applause Album Review

digipak4Panel-DW.aiThey’ve been making noise and putting together shows for years now, with stories of their onstage lunacy and antics known by anyone with an ear for suchlike and even a passing interest in the Leeds gig scene. Since we first saw them batter, confuse and entertain OportoSuper Luxury have got bigger and better, getting noisier and more fun with every show. And now they’ve self-released the LP to cement their awesomeness. From the opening riff of ’25 Metres’ lazily trying itself out before the getting-out-of-cars-in-slow-motion stomp of the song proper kicks in until the last dying pained scream of ‘Crunchy Boy’, Ten Solid Years Of Applause proves itself an alternately gut-busting, shouty, yelping, half melody half sludge joy.

How they manage to have the classic rock influences of riff-mongers like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin sit so comfortably alongside the discordant screeching bends of a song like ‘Golden Climbing’ is a feat in itself. The songcraft never seems anything short of effortless, switching smoothly from menacing to joyously heavy in an instant, their tightness as a unit never in question. As ear-shattering and loud as the album gets, you’re never claustrophobic or pummelled, with plenty of space to breathe inbetween the loud knockout blows of the guitar. Like any good pugilist, they want you to feel the impact of every hit. And boy do you. Sludgy songs like ‘Milk Sauce’ are given full release in the nervous twitchy explosions of songs like ‘Hyperhidrosis’.

There’s a looseness to how all the elements come together that speaks volumes and is far more evidential of confidence and comfort in their songs, their instruments and themselves than any perfectly tight highly glossed effort ever could be. Every song just makes me want to see them live again and hear them in the arena God intended. Their choice of recording venue in the  legendary Brudenell Social Club makes perfect sense. Everything sounds as great and natural as their live shows because they know that’s where their strengths lie.

If you don’t get goosebumps during the juggernaut of lyrical madness and musical menace of ‘Kellogg’s Wasps’ you may be dead inside. The song keeps on rolling as it groans under the weight of that riff even as Tom Goodall’s bass and Hamish Watt’s drums slip beautifully off-kilter, leaving some of Chris Riviera’s more melodic guitarwork to stew on its own. Whether Adam Nodwell fucking hates wasps or fucking loves cereal is by the by as he screams his guts out over the top. Our live favourite and still the absurdist highlight of their repertoire, their best combination of musicianship and good dumb fun.

Ten Solid Years Of Applause is everything fans of the band and lovers of demented taut noiserock need and want it to be. Stick it on repeat and wait for it to take over your life and keep you going inbetween seeing them tear it up on the boards. Just maybe don’t have the end of ‘Crunchy Boy’ turned up too loud unless you want to go full Guantanamo on your hearing.

Oh, and you may as well close the phone-in votes for Best Longform Song Title of 2015 now with ‘Ian Mackaye made so much money out of Fugazi that he lives in a solid gold house and drives a solid gold car and he sits on his driveway but he can’t go anywhere because the wheels are made of solid gold’. We have an absolute winner here, folks.

Ten Solid Years Of Applause is out now on British Wildlife Records and available for download here.