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Scene & Heard

A wealth of possibility

Riding a yearlong winning streak, the Luxury takes nothing for granted

(Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / July 10, 2009
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Sitting in the dining room of the Longhorn Steakhouse in the Fenway, chowing down on a Texas Tonion and adding to the happy birthday cheers of a nearby diner, the members of local pop-rock band the Luxury are pretty distant from the spoils to which their name aspires.

Guitarist Daanen Krouth is especially far, since, as a waiter at the restaurant, he’s actually serving his fellow band members and a reporter, occasionally stopping by to refill drinks and offer a quote. But the bright, family-friendly chain is as good a spot as any to discuss the future of a band with potential for mass appeal.

Constructed from the ashes of frontman Jason Dunn’s previous outfit, the Halogens, the current lineup of the Luxury will celebrate two years together in September and the release of its second album, “In the Wake of What Won’t Change,’’ tomorrow night at the Paradise Rock Club.

It’s a dream gig for the quintet - which includes Krouth, Dunn, drummer Stephen Foster, bass player Justin Day, and keyboardist Steven Borek - that has been on a serious winning streak in the past year.

Last summer, the band won a WFNX-sponsored contest to open for Britpop behemoths Coldplay at the TD Banknorth Garden, a moment they describe in superlatives like “fantastic,’’ “exhilarating,’’ and “not even frightening.’’ In April the Luxury emerged victorious from the annual WBCN Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble.

“The Garden and the Rumble were a good one-two punch of awesome,’’ says Dunn. “I was incoherent after the Rumble. It took me hours to make sense of it.’’

Each win was also a means to an end. The Coldplay money afforded them a chance to tour the West Coast. And the Rumble prize package included a bevy of professional recording time that the quintet, whose members are all in their late 20s and early 30s, used to re-record “In the Wake’’ to achieve their desired sound.

And that sound is big: U2 big, Oasis big, even a smidge of Pink Floyd big. That means that singalong hooks, memorable melodies, driving rhythms, close harmonies, and songs of the heart are all in the Luxury wheelhouse. Singer-songwriter and major Anglophile Dunn captains the ship with an affinity for the classics from the Beatles to My Bloody Valentine. “My production thing is just make it bigger, bigger, bigger. I think that’s the Def Leppard fan in me really,’’ he says with a chuckle between bites.

While the pop-metal titans aren’t the first name that bubbles up, songs like the urgent “Take It Back’’ and the zingy, warped “Nothing Comes to Mind’’ definitely have a British accent. Which is no surprise given Dunn’s proclivities.

“I figured out when I was about 19 that what all of my favorite bands ever had in common was that they were all British,’’ he says. “It was the sort of thing where if everyone else was into Billy Joel, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I kind of like Elton John more for some reason.’ I just think there’s a way with melody that comes from Europe.’’

The other members have various tastes - from Thelonious Monk to Slayer - but were happy to get on board as fans of Dunn’s songwriting. “It was a sound we could easily meld with, I think,’’ says Borek, the confessed band nerd.

“As soon as there was an ad out that they were looking for a bass player, I thought that’s something I want to get behind,’’ agrees the voluble Day. (Foster was absent from dinner because he’s playing a cruise ship gig in Hawaii for the next few months. Rob Gaggin of Day’s other band, Jet Lagger, is filling in.)

Winning the Rumble caught the band off guard - they made the finals on the wild card - but not other observers.

“It was anybody’s game, but I was not surprised that they took the whole thing in the end,’’ says Anngelle Wood, Rumble coordinator and host of WBCN’s “Boston Emissions.’’ “They’ve got it and they’re really good at what they do. I think they definitely have the makeup to be successful. They earned where they are now and wherever else they get will be through their own hard work.’’

The band is definitely ready to do the work, and the members’ easy interactions - a way of picking up one another’s sentences - bode well. As they talk about their modest hopes for the future, each member - save Krouth, who is now dropping off appetizers at another table - paints a part of the picture of what they’d like to achieve.

“If we could go out every night and play a room the size of the Middle East Downstairs to a relatively full house,’’ starts Day.

“Yeah, in multiple areas,’’ continues Dunn.

“That kind of capacity all over the country,’’ adds Borek.

“And Europe, that’d be awesome,’’ chimes in Dunn.

Day finishes up by saying, “and that’s about as big as most of the bands I actually like.’’

One thing is definitely on the docket for Dunn, however.

“One of my lifelong ambitions is to tour Europe, so I plan on making that happen,’’ he says. “Because frankly, all that I’ve been doing for the last year is reaching way higher than I can possibly reach, and it seems to be working out.’’

Sarah Rodman can be reached at srodman@globe.com.

THE LUXURY

With the Click Five, MidAtlantic, and Aloud at the Paradise Rock Club tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 at 877-598-8689 or

www.livenation.com.

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