Sound Track web extra: Forgotten Albatross

Local indie-rockers The Luxury Spirit make big songs. Their new LP, Forgotten Albatross, crafts vast soundscapes of layered guitars and driving percussion. These are sonic palettes colored in measures by grunge, Americana, and the heavy, straight-forward rock that would fill a stadium or resonate from a basement.

“Angel Bones” is slower and more melodic that opening tracks “Legionnaire” and “Light.” Here, front man Bob Burnette lets his vocal take center stage (spelled by crisp guitar solos). There’s a spare romance at play here, and a hint of late nights and the kind of rough-edged melodies that make for impromptu slow dances.

“Just the Opposite” is built on warm-yet-wistful chords and swirling atmospherics that portend a big moment even before the lyrics are fully understood. The cymbals propel the song’s emotionalism and guitars stretch toward distant horizons. Burnette’s brief punches of falsetto are effortless accents.

Power ballad “Chains” hits heavier, flexing bass muscle and almost metallic washes of guitar. Other offerings, like “Sad Believer” and “Rhododendron,” launch with funk-tinged grooves — though both remain firmly planted in the Luxury Spirit’s very consistent rock sound. “Rhododendron,” especially, could easily be remade in another genre (twangier, more rootsy, more beachy). There’s an inherent sweetness to the song. “Don’t let the sun come up or anything / cause I don’t know if I’m ready,” Burnette sings.

“Son of the Old Song” is a standout on the 12-track record. It sighs and almost shimmers, shot through with the poignancy of Sunday evenings and dusky skies. There’s angst here, but also ease in the relaxed beat and the prettiness of the melody that floats over a warm thrum. It’s a song comprised of heady heights as well as cozy foundations.

The haunted, syncopated “God” could easily devolve into jam (and might, in the live show), but remains, on the record, a keep-it-loose-keep-it-tight reckoning with the supernatural. Heartbeat drums ricochet in echo chambers of stratified vocals and luminous instrumentation.

The album’s title track is ambitious (and the LP’s longest song). It verges on epic, in a “Xanadu” way, minus the disco pedigree. But there are those crescendos and the sort of guitars that demand fist pumps or lit Zippos or something. It’s the essence of that song, though — its bold emotionalism and arena predilections — that runs like a current throughout the record. The Luxury Spirit is on to something big.

The band holds an album release party at Emerald Lounge on Saturday, Aug. 24. Of Sea & Shore and The Beast of Riverdale also perform. 9 p.m., $5.


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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