This ‘La Luz’ review was written by Marc Simonsson, a GIGsoup contributor
If Haim and 1960s psychedelic rock band The 13th Floor Elevators were to produce a musically induced off-spring, it would come out in the shape and form of ‘Weirdo Shrine’, the second LP from Seattle 4-piece La Luz.
Produced by Ty Segall, ‘Weirdo Shrine’ is another fantastic example of an ever growing genre of all-girl rock bands. Haim, Sleater Kinny and Dum Dum Girls success over the last few decades speaks volumes for a brand that is predominately, and incorrectly, considered a male one – and this has thankfully encouraged bands like La Luz to push their brand of rock, a sound which is delicate but at the same time powerful and hard-hitting.
This is musicianship of the highest order and a blend of techniques which one may argue could not be achieved properly by male musicians.
The opening track, ‘Sleep Till They Die’, has a melancholy feel similar to that of Fleet Foxes’, but with an underlying sultry tempo reminiscent of Nirvana, which is apt for a band originating from Seattle. In particular, one can’t help but draw comparisons between Marian Li Pino’s percussion on tracks such as ‘Oranges’ and Dave Grohl’s delicate handiwork for Nirvana’s set on MTV Unplugged.
However, if the audience thinks that this is just going to be an easy-listening LP made for those down-time moments, they only need progress on to ‘You Disappear’, to get a flavour of what’s to come – a constant back and forth between a folk-like smooth chords and intricate layering of guitar solos and heavier catchy riffs.
There is almost no other way to describe ‘Weirdo Shrine’. The more one listens to the album the more they notice the technical complexities of each track and how the songs organically build to crescendos and then just as easily scale themselves back, such as in ‘Don’t Wanna Be Anywhere’. The biggest achievement, though, is how effortless they make all of this sound. Unlike other new bands trying to make a mark in an ever over-populated market, La Luz do not ‘overdo it’ – throughout the album it is as if every note has huge significance and has purposely been placed where it is, thus creating an easy flowing collection of tracks. If one was to criticise the album, it would be that there is not enough variation throughout, but as the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke . . . ‘
‘Weirdo Shrine’ is a breath of fresh air. Whilst wearing their influences on their sleeves, La Luz have a clear identity and originality to their music.