Punk Rock Priests Offer Up Their ‘Parallel Love’ in Music and Sacrament

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There’s no other band quite like Luxury, the evangelical indie rockers from the ’90s who journeyed through tragedy and faith to Eastern Orthodoxy.

The evangelical indie rock scene of the 1990s can be difficult to explain. A rebellious, unhinged underground movement that emerged from megachurch basements and religious colleges? A generation of musicians who broke ties with conservative Christianity but maintained a fan base built through youth groups and Young Life? You kind of had to be there.

Perhaps no band typifies the many paradoxes of this scene and its fallout than Luxury, formed in small-town Georgia in the early 1990s and still together today. The band itself is also hard to describe: maybe Morrissey fronting Fugazi, with sad Radiohead piano, English-major allusions, androgynous sexuality—oh and by the way, three out of five members of the band are Eastern Orthodox priests. (This is called burying the lede.)

And so Parallel Love, a documentary film by Matt Hinton, cannot help but be as strange and wonderful as the band it portrays and the music scene they stumbled into and (mostly) out of. Hinton’s first documentary, Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp, also touched on uniquely American religious music. His feature on Luxury, originally released for a short theatrical run in 2019, is available on Amazon, iTunes, and other streaming platforms on May 18.

If you’ve already heard Luxury, you may need no convincing that this band is interesting and worth nearly an hour and a half of screen time. For my money, they are quite simply one of the best, most compelling rock bands of all time. Instrumentally, they toe the line between precision and chaos, presenting a snarling, tangled mess of guitar riffs and feral drums anchored by fat punk basslines, overlaid by an ethereal crooning vocal. It’s gorgeous.

What is more fascinating about Luxury, …

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