Weirdo Shrine | La Luz

Weirdo+Shrine+%7C+La+Luz

Ian Siporin

Picture this: you’re cruisin’ down a five-lane suburban pseudo-highway in your dad’s slightly used Chevy Cruze. The interior lights glow a cool blue. Yes, that’s a liquid crystal display, nothing but the best for you. It’s surely a summer night and you’re blasting the washed out reverberation of Seattle quartet La Luz.

Okay, given these aesthetics, and the reality of soul-crushing loneliness that being in your hometown brings, this may not seem like the ideal setting for haunting surf tunes. This isn’t about my situation though. This is about Weirdo Shrine, the much anticipated follow-up to La Luz’s 2013 debut It’s Alive.[su_pullquote align=”right”]“…with production from Ty Segall to aid this record, it does not end up disappointing.”[/su_pullquote]

The fear going into this record was that a “more of the same” type of scenario was going to manifest over the 11 tracks. La Luz already find themselves in a somewhat limiting and heavily copied niche genre that similar bands can be hard pressed to make fresh. However, with production from Ty Segall to aid this record, it does not end up disappointing.

The overall sound is not unfamiliar, but the band ramps up an energy that was occasionally lacking from their debut. La Luz stays chill and wavy with clean minor chords and soft handed drumming, but ultimately imitates those occasional killer waves that put us flat on our backs. Is it any wonder why they chose to record in a surf shop?

[su_pullquote]“The grittier production perfectly aligns with Cleveland’s writing and makes Weirdo Shrine an album more firmly rooted in DIY and Garage…”[/su_pullquote]The guitar playing of front-woman Shana Cleveland should especially be noted. Not only does she have an incredible knack for writing catchy parts, but she’s altered her classic surf style and created a heavier and more dynamic sound. The grittier production perfectly aligns with Cleveland’s writing and makes Weirdo Shrine an album more firmly rooted in DIY and Garage, as opposed to the band making an attempt to propel into a more fine tuned sound that so many other bands seek to accomplish with age.

The album is dark and murky while simultaneously being airy and fun. It’s almost everything I would want from the “Luzers”. Plus, who doesn’t love a barrage of campy “doo-wop” background vocals?

 

Weirdo Shrine was released on August 7 through Hardly Art.

You can catch La Luz live at the UFO Factory in Detroit on September 3.