Casual Luxury’s self-titled EP might be labeled as an “EP.” But its content is just as rich and fully realized as any great rock album in the recent past. Unlike many modern rock acts who incorporate elements of electronic and dance music, Casual Luxury favours unconventional song structures and still relies heavily on guitars.
From the start it’s clear that Casual Luxury puts the music itself above the vocals and lyrics. Not that they are insignificant, as the lyrics express personal feelings and reflections, but the vocals are consistently layered slightly under the instruments — the music is what grabs the listener’s attention from the beginning to the end.
What makes the EP so worth coming back to is the unconventional structure of most songs. The opener “From the Balcony” starts with a guitar melody that is soon accompanied by vocals. Then the bass and the distant drums are introduced and they gradually reappear throughout the track. The drum patterns are especially interesting as they constantly change but also repeat a motif from earlier in the track. The song then features a distorted guitar that transitions into a wall of melodies. All this happens in the span of five minutes yet none of it sounds out of place or illogical.
“Girl Grins,” is another track that follows an unconventional song structure. For the first two minutes or so, it sounds like a conventional guitar-driven song, but then a guitar solo emerges leading the song to a new direction as the riffs and drums build up to a new guitar melody that is the foundation for the second half of the song and its heavy outro.
This sense of progression and constant surprises in each track makes Casual Luxury a rewarding listen. It is music that requires patience and attention. But after a few listens, it all sinks in, and becomes even more enjoyable as the listener is familiar with all the twists and directions in each song.