SEES THE LIGHT (HARDLY ART)
LA SERA's "Sees The Light" follows 2011's masterful self-titled debut with ten new tracks of peppy break-up pop brimming with defiance and bitter sweetness.
On album opener "Love That's Gone," the vocals and drumbeat linger for seconds, swaying in the wind while the guitar cuts through, charming you, pulling you by your shirt and telling you that it is time to move on.
This is a break-up album for the best kinds of break-ups. There's a lightness of touch, too, that surround the harmonies throughout and makes one yearn for the days of Donna Lynn, Julie Ruin and The Shirelles.
But before you can settle into your seat, LA SERA delivers a one-two punch - a rip of rolling snare and sending you speeding off in a fast car.
Seize the light. Where the first LA SERA album was super-dreamy in its layered vocals, "Sees The Light" is more direct, more aggressive; almost a soundtrack to a lost drive-in movie classic.
This is not an album for half-hearted partakers in the heartache scene: just an all-consuming love for punk as pop and pop as punk.
Lead single "Please Be My Third Eye" buzzes with an intensity and beauty rarely heard outside the first three Vivian Girls albums.
(Not so surprising: LA SERA is Katy Goodman is one-third of VIVIAN GIRLS.) Songs such as "Don't Stay" soar away into the stratosphere, solemn and possessed of singular beauty.
"Real Boy" is playfully driven in comparison: like being whisked away to a tropical island, while "Drive On" is tear-laden and full of hidden menace like a David Lynch film.