Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco, the Los Angeles-based musicians behind indie neo-disco act De Lux, write, play, and produce all their material. Despite their young age, they do so with an impressive level of skill. Because of their young age, they do so while sounding like mere copyists -- the product of their inspirations, nothing more. On their debut album, they're seemingly inspired by a fair portion of the DFA label roster, such as LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, and Holy Ghost!, which means they've also absorbed some earlier bands of the post-punk and new wave era that embraced and mutated disco. They've got the high and nasally vocals, the wriggling rhythm guitars, the basslines that range from stiff disco-funk to quasi-Hi-NRG, and even a little cowbell. Lyrically, they articulate wry observations with the occasional slip into combative derision, but the songs come off as attempts to approximate those of LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and Talking Heads' David Byrne. Guerin and Franco nail the sound with stimulating results on album opener "Better at Making Time," a clear standout that previously appeared on an EP for Scion AV, while "It All Works All the Time" charmingly throws Orange Juice into the mix. A greater portion of the album is a reedy and indistinct variant of indie dance music. Plenty of bands have taken an album or two to make a mark of their own. This one has too much going for it to not do the same.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman