La Luz, “Weirdo Shrine”
A persistent issue with surf rock is how easy it can be for bands to fall into repetitive tropes within the genre, using them as a crutch to sound pleasing, but ultimately sidestepping the delivery of any actual substance (see: about one-third of Burger Records’ catalog). Seattle group La Luz flirted with that danger on It’s Alive in 2013, but have since stepped up their game for Weirdo Shrine, their second LP, and first since surviving a tour van accident that very nearly killed them. Ty Segall handles production duties on the album, and except for touches of fuzz here and there, he mostly seems to have tastefully stood back in order to emphasize the quartet’s own brand of melancholic surf rock, which they have successfully laid claim to here. There’s a certain amount of room for growth going forward, but in the case of La Luz, the light is definitely on.