Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop, Surf Revival
After years of hearing people describe indie rock and pop bands who drench their sound in reverb as "surf," it's refreshing to hear an indie pop band who actually plays surf music. The landlocked Seattle quartet La Luz certainly have spent their time with the works of Dick Dale and the Ventures, and it shows on their debut album It's Alive. Surf aficionados will thrill to guitarist Shana Cleveland's sparkling, shoot-the-curl lead lines, and the twangy glee with which the band attacks the uptempo tracks like "Sure as Spring" or "Pink Slime.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Having dropped their debut EP Damp Face back in late 2012, Seattle-based four-piece La Luz seem more than ready to embark on their first full-length adventure - in fact, they've included two of the EP's most prominent tracks on their debut album ('Call Me In The Day' and the LP's opener 'Sure As Spring'). In spite of sharing the title with The Ramones' fifth album (their double live extravaganza), It's Alive has little to nothing to do with three-chord raw punk.
“If you see me lyin’ on the grass ... walk around” spit subterranean Seattleite scoundrels La Luz across the title track of début album It’s Alive. Consider yourselves warned. Now ask yourself the question, “Do ya feel lucky? Well do ya punk?” Thought not, now scram ya chicken! Make no mistake Daddio there’s a potent, Coca-cola ‘n’ Raybans, drive-in movie, ‘Youngblood’ rush firin’ the hot rod cylinders of It’s Alive.
If you dote on it for a sec, it’s kind of staggering how long that ol’ echoey, whammy bar, surf guitar sound has stuck around. Every few years it finds another mass of youngins in thrall to its mysterious warble that wafts off into infinity like all those unanswered questions you start realizing won’t get answers for as you enter your mid-20s. From Dwayne Eddie’s finger tips to your 2013 ears, it’s one of music’s great mysteries how that sound revives its cool more than any other rock instrument.And so it went around seven years ago when bands like the Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ and a few others brought it back for the millennials, albeit with a trashed Cramps vibe.
Albums that revive certain sounds from the past run the risk of playing like a copy of a copy. That La Luz seems be interested in only those types of sounds – girl-group R&B, surf pop, garage rock – betrays either intrepid defiance or clever calculation, depending on your perspective. Indeed, a solid decade after most of these sounds were at their most revivalist-chic, there is a certain kind of bravery in investing this heavily in mid-60’s stomp-and-grit.