Weird, abstract and all too compelling surf-noir sounds from La Luz.
Coming all the way from Seattle via Los Angeles, and seemingly the late 50s/early 60s, La Luz bring their surf noir sounds to Brighton’s Hope and Ruin.
Midway through their European jaunt that’s already seen the band lose their equipment, this last UK date finds the band support in the guise of Will Sprott, accompanied respectfully by the rhythm section from the headliners.
Sprott, a psychedelic guitar-wielding songsmith from LA making his UK debut, has a look of Sonny Bono and a voice of Dylan. A rare being who is likely on the near extinction list, plays his hippy drippy cheery psychedelic bouncy numbers to the packed room, with a relaxed and charming self-confidence and integrity.
From the off, it’s clear LA Luz is going to offer up something unique. Launching into ‘Floating Features’ the opening track off 2018’s LP of the same name
, what strikes you is how tight and close the band are to the sound of the record. Spiralling organ and psychedelic guitar intertwine over a pulsing rhythm that provides the foundation for haunting 4-way floating harmonies, all combining into an intoxicating wall of 60s sound.
Interludes of drawling Cali accents and bashful banter about British semi-offensive slang further compounds the trippy, hazy vibes of the evening, before launching back into their catchy hooky songs.
Experiencing the band live is like one long Pulp Fiction scene that never made the cut to the final film. Druggy, hazy, and with at least half the band seeming stoned out of their minds, we’re not sure if that’s just who they are, or where their imagination resides and to where we’re being taking along for the ride. A ride we’re certainly happy to take again.
Photos credits: Sam Gehrke (main photo) + Guy Christie