There is an irony to be found in listening to cassettes in this digital day and age as the most lo-fi and contemptible analogue format has outlived any number of digital formats and all but the similarly quaint analogue vinyl LP. In the case of this EP from La Luz, it even occurred to me that the equipment used to play this very cassette probably cost more than it did to record it.
The “Damp Face” EP is therefore undoubtedly a low budget lo-fi production but, that said, it kinds of suits the music. There would, in fact, be something incongruous about this innocent garage rock if it were to be polished to a 24 bit digital shine as the spring reverb is as much a part of this band’s musical armoury as the guitars or the organ even if you do wonder if they had to plunder their grandparent’s record collection in search of their musical inspiration. The title track “Damp Face”, for instance, is pure surf sixties style (or maybe the band are actually the daughters of the Surfaris?) and “Clear Night Sky” reinforces that walk on the beach feeling. It’s like finding out that Shadow Morton owned one of those super loud Hawaiian shirts.
However, the key thing to note here is just how well this band plays. The budget might be low but otherwise standards are high and, as “Easy Baby” leads you off this EP into the sunset, you feel both charmed and satisfied. Retro might well be the new black and sun, sea and sand are surely back in fashion.
The EP is available for download from Bandcamp or, if you are lucky, you might get your hands on one of the limited edition of 250 cassettes.