The album then takes a slower, more atmospheric turn. With its echoing drums and gentle washes of guitars, Dreaming Our Lives Away is a moody ballad of romantic intentions that reiterates some of the escapist tendencies of Paradise Untouched, emphasizing a yearning for preserving ephemera, which wouldn't be so precious if it weren't so transient. Item continues the atmosphere of sombre brooding with an insistent lower register that swells like a dirge against the backsliding backbeat as the narrator drags his directionless feet away from the wreckage of his heart that he can now only view as a detached, abstract item. NMQP picks the pace back up again with the plea of "no more questions please" and breezier guitars. The record's coda is Don't Go, a track that begins with a skeleton of acoustic guitar, but which continues to round out its sound and culminates in more wounded self-absorption reaching for the last vestiges of love, or for what would pass for love for any navel-gazing romantic. The naked last breaths that plead "don't go" belie a true vulnerability behind the gothic bravado of the earlier tracks.
Overall, if you're a fan of the darker, brooding side of post-punk and also into fist-pumping forceful rock, I would definitely recommend Luxury Stranger. Considering I'm in Canada and that there's a low likelihood of my returning to the Nottingham area any time soon, I asked whether I would be able to get some cards of my own to spread throughout Canada. Though the cards were ostensibly sent to me twice, I never did end up receiving those cards, which leads me to believe that I am neither luxurious nor strange enough to be a part of the Luxury Stranger elite. Or perhaps our postal worker is indeed more luxurious and a bit stranger than I thought.
Luxury Stranger's MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/luxurystranger
Grounded - Luxury Stranger
Item - Luxury Stranger
Completion - Luxury Stranger