Since their beginning in 2011 (supposedly in New York City), Luxurious Faux Furs have stripped their vision of garage rock down to the bone. Over the course of two LPs and a handful of seven-inches, Jessica-Melain (drums) and Josh Lee Hooker (guitar) approach their music with the howling, elemental minimalism of the Gories and Mississippi Fred McDowell. Yet they also embody the opulent absurdity of 70’s glam rock (a la Cockney Rebel), with stretched out songs, copious “ooh ooh” backup singing just like Jagger got his stones bandmates to do on the likes of ‘Gimme Shelter’. Their records have been issued by labels in Western Europe, South America, and Memphis, Tennessee, and especially at volume, it’s easy to see the attraction.
On this new LP, the pair maintains their garage squall and dives even further into hypnotic blues riffs and throbbing insistent drum pulse—what one listener called the “car with one square wheel” rhythm. Their choice of cover songs—obscure blues and sanctified numbers—show them moving even further from anything like “listener expectations.”
Playing live on stage, the band cuts a memorable image. Behind her pair of stand-up drums, Jessica-Melain swings her hips in time to the trance-like beat. Her hair is a big black thunder cloud with blonde streaks of lightning; her expression a bubblegum snarl. Meanwhile, Josh Lee Hooker, saturnine and overdressed, mutters confusing jokes to the audience then abruptly careens into impassioned, expressive singing.
The Luxurious Faux Furs are defiantly un-modern and anti-traditional; they’re neither urban nor rural; they have no interest in “what’s going on” and they certainly don’t care what people say about them. the tunes are unfussy and they delve deep into the blues but also keep it fairly contemporary with a borrowed riff here and there. ‘Seat In The Kingdom’ sounds like it could be half-inched from Brian James when he was looking for new tunes for the Lords Of The New Church and to contrast the rough arsed vocal that can be chaotic and wild the BV’s are often quite lush and smooth in comparison whatever it is it works.
At times it can sound quite hypnotic and other times it sounds claustrophobic and chaotic. I’m not too sure there was a great deal of quality control going on which helps keep it fresh but plays havoc with one’s OCD tendencies. Whatever view you have you can’t deny it’s rock and roll and I’m sure live these cats would go down a treat in some sweaty dive bar where the PA is way too loud and the drinks are cheap.
I love the tone on ‘Joe Bird’ and then there’s the vibe they’ve hit upon for the video ‘Home Cooking’ which is great. move over Jon Spenser and Guitar Wolf look over your shoulder there are some new kids in town and I don’t think they play nice. Favourite track is the haunting ‘Sign Of Judgment’ – sparse and like a diamond in the rough worth checking out for this one alone. The more I play it the more I want to play it now if every album had those qualities. Check em out – you’ll like em!
Buy on Bandcamp Here
Author: Dom Daley