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Crush Luther plugs their self-titled debut album at the Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday night.


Newsflash: Crush Luther is making pop music cool again. Where fluffy substance-free burlesque groups are at one end of the spectrum and edgy hardcore screamo acts are at the other end, Crush Luther has created a flawless balance of credible, non-pretentious, honest music.

Their self-titled debut, released on High 4 Records, run by Darrin Pfeiffer of Goldfinger, combines heartfelt ballads, bouncy tunes and intense, guitar-driven rock songs that showcase a band with a wide range of tastes and talents.

Luther Mallory, lead singer and songwriter, is the big pop music fan out of the five band members and unabashedly professes his love for bands like Savage Garden and country act Lyle Lovett. He does acknowledge, though, that Crush Luther’s live show is a whole other bag. “It’s much different than the record, if the record’s a pop record, the show is a punk rock show. It’s much more energetic ... but we’re certainly not a punk rock band and will never claim to be a punk band.”

Image is fairly low on Crush Luther’s priority list. Look carefully though, and you might spot Mallory sporting some hot pink nail polish while he’s performing his “stupid spin moves” barefoot. Commenting on the band’s style, Mallory believes “honesty is the best image.” Guitarist Matt Fury agrees: “If you’re not comfortable, you can’t be confident ... we’ve never said let’s do this, let’s wear this.”

Things that are important to the band, rounded out by Brent Mills on drums, Bo Mulholland on bass and guitarist Giggi Bongard, are writing good songs and keeping their fans happy. Considering some of the songs on the album were written a few years ago, Fury finds that “your own songs don’t get old ... writing more really keeps it fresh and helps to liven it up.”

So in ten years’ time, will Crush Luther still be playing their successful first single City Girl live? Sure, says Fury. “You owe it to your fans to play what they wanna hear.” Mallory adds, “You have a responsibility to those people, they’ve invested in your band.”

Crush Luther plays the Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday with Mugshot, grand:pm and the Miniatures.