Thursday, October 17, 2013

Album Review: La Luz -It's Alive

La Luz
It's Alive
**** out of *****

A lot of the time albums come with genre labels that seem to stretch both language and the bounds of responsible listening descriptions. Then you get a release like La Luz's debut on Hardly Art, whose press release christened It's Alive Surf-Noir. Having never thought about those two words together I was skeptical, but they sure nailed it; if you guess at what those two words sound like in your head you will get an instant picture of this disk without hearing a note.

Thankfully when the music flows things get even better. The female four piece from Seattle spin a cinematic take as the ripe guitars are crystal clear drums slap lonely and lyrics are fuzzed up lovelorn odes.

Tracks like "Big Bad Blood" pulse with a snaking bass line, "ooh's" that are high pitched, echoing over an eerie horizon line. The band stays tight lipped surf rock with "Sunstroke" and "Phantom Feelings" as sonic flares burst out from the instrumentals while the pace and tempo pump up with "Pink Slime". Opener "Sure As Spring" sets the album up for success with it's rolling snares and a gorgeous organ work, an early highlight. "What Good Am I" pushes up the drama as the band builds to a picturesque ending evoking a Mazzy Star-like scenario. With all four members singing the vocals swim into and out of each other with ease.  

The production is sparse letting the bands harmonies work well and while it has a slight novelty feel to the proceedings It's Alive is a winning debut that scratches an itch I didn't even know I have for Surf-Noir rock.
Cool ass disk, thanks to the peeps at Hardly Art for cluing us into these ladies. We have listened to this a bunch since we got it and just love the sound...maybe it is the dying summer and timing of the release that works so well.    

Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:
"Sure As Spring" Live:

Here is the bands live set at KEXP:

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