Though it’s taken a few records to find the right balance, La Luz has hit something powerful on their third record. Straddling a fresh mix of different psych-rock ideas and a handful of vintage pop-rock progressions, La Luz reinvigorate the past. Though the record does suffer at times from its reliance on writing that we know, it soars as it quickly twists them into something foreign.
Dark and heavy riffs dance around on “Floating Features” as a psychedelic air matches the bands off-kilter rhythms excitedly. Though it serves as mostly an intro to the record, the track really hits a punchy stride once the beat picks up. This energy carries right on through to “Cicada” as harmonies and organs create a moody atmosphere around the track. As La Luz slowly bring in more instruments and lavish writing, the track takes on an exotic Jefferson Airplane energy. “Loose Teeth” brings a little more surf attack in this sound, as they ride the trippy energy for a haunting and fast track. Using the uneasy energy La Luz create a palpable sense of confusion around their sound.
They strip a lot back for “Mean Dream” as their bass and vocals take over for a much more sunny and West Coast desert rock track. This brighter energy and more natural sound palette makes for a brilliant but still hypnotizing sound that uses layers rather than effects to grab listeners. Chants rush through “California Finally” as La Luz hit a slightly more predictable writing scheme to play around with their sound. It’s unfortunate the song becomes so straightforward however because they really bring a lot of dynamic sounds and grooves in the track otherwise.
“The Creature” crawls along with a real sadness in its melodies, that set another seemingly familiar rock track apart. As the track goes on, solos burst with deep pain and there’s a real depth to the band’s range of melodies to make this a standout listen that audiences will want to come back to. The funky percussion of “Golden One” pulls you into its dark grooves and sets one of the most blatant psychedelic energies on the record. The soft and seductive delivery makes the whole song really pop in its smoky aesthetic and lets it breathe more than the dense rock songs of the record.
Within the vintage riffs of “Lonely Dozer” La Luz is really bringing something fresh with their simple tonal twists, and manage to mix up the writing quite a bit too. Though here you can really start to hear the band’s synergy both as instrumentalists and vocalists really bringing a track together where other bands could let the song drag. “Greed Machine” takes a much looser approach in its writing, as it stirs up a sort of primal energy to churn out in raucous and fiery choruses. While this more jam-centric writing might not be for everyone, it really expands as it goes without ever taking too long.
“Walking Into The Sun” is an interesting mix of a track, as it skewers old doo-wop sounds with something more sinister and unnerving. Though this does require a little bit of an initial drag, the song becomes a hazy and demented masterpiece by the end. “Don’t Leave Me on the Earth” brings the record to a close on a cosmic and energetic note with harmonies and rich reverb elevating every vocal to something spiritual.
Words by Owen Maxwell