The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

La Luz: Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art, 2015)

Para la grabación de su segundo álbum, La Luz echó mano nada menos que de Ty Segall para que se encargara de las tareas de producción, y entre ambos consiguieron un álbum divertido de Surf-Garaje-Pop con una nada disimulada influencia del sonido Twang de sus guitarras. Un disco de esos que se pasa en un suspiro y que serviría para ilustrar cualquier escena de alguna película de Quentin Tarantino.

“What makes Weirdo Shrine interesting is that all this existential dread is wrapped up in classic-sounding surf rock, topped with enough “ooohhhs”, “aaahhhs”, and vocal harmonies to fill your girl group quota for an entire year. Lead singer and guitarist Shana Cleveland tosses out bright, airy guitar riffs, tinged with just the right amount of reverb, as easy as breathing. But the surfer girl guise is a front. If La Luz are a rum punch drink served in a pineapple, be careful lifting the tiny drink umbrella: There’s probably a black widow spider underneath.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the ballad, “I’ll Be True”. Cleveland croons, “No one else treats me like you do/ And I’ll be true to you/ Just as long as you want me to,” while keyboardist Alice Sandahl tries to wrestle the good name of organ solos from the hands ofRay Manzarek. But the lingering effect of the song is not the declaration of loyalty, it’s the minor chord progression that blends with the ladies’ descending voices. It begs the question: If the love in the song is so pure and innocent then why does it come tinged with such eeriness? 
La Luz recorded It’s Alive in the back of their friend’s trailer. For Weirdo Shrine, producer Ty Segall constructed a makeshift studio out of an old surfboard factory. At first, this tactic can come across almost like a cheap gimmick, a soundbite for press releases. But once you realize Segall also chose to keep a persistent hissing overlay on the entire record (it’s hard to ignore once you hear it)—the occasional, lingering odd note or glitch will also tend to appear during the transitions between tracks—his methods become less a cute anecdote, and more a way to keep the group firmly grounded in their DIY roots. The ladies might have perfect pitch, but this is not an album for cleaning up mistakes.
It’s frustrating that the record doesn’t fully convey the energy of La Luz’s live shows, where the band members will crowd surf and request the audience make space for a line dance à la “Soul Train”. But if you choose to focus on La Luz’s doo-wop harmonizing, then you’re only looking at the frilly, pink bow that tops the whole package. The undercurrent of darkness in La Luz’s music is what makes their work so fierce and intelligent. You could blink and miss their sneaky, underhanded way of slipping unease into their cheerful-sounding songs. Which is why you should give them more of your attention. Much like a car accident, it’s always the ones we didn’t see coming that hit the hardest” (Pitchfork)

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25 febrero, 2016 - Posted by | La Luz

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