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La Luz – La Luz (Hardly Art)

La Luz
25 October 2021

California’s La Luz long ago perfected its alluring version of 1967 garage-rock psychedelia, but don’t expect a lazy nostalgia act. Fronted by Shana Cleveland, whose guitars mix fuzztone aggression and surf twang, the group adds eerie keyboards and haunted vocal harmonies to the mix, resulting in a sound that’s pleasantly spooky and surprisingly urgent. Although “Lazy Eyes and Dune” and “Watching Cartoons” seem to be delivered in a zonked-out trance, an angsty undercurrent hints at real-life drama, while the mesmerizing instrumental “Spider House” suggests a deranged state of mind. Produced by Adrian Younge, whose resume leans toward jazz and hip-hop, this gripping, self-titled fourth album plays like a confusing dream that could turn scary at any moment, yet never does. David Lynch, take note.