ALLAH LAS: CALICO REVIEW
The Allah-Las are a throwback garage band, but they represent a softer side of the genre, having more in common with bands on the Nuggets compilations than with Ty Segall. They make the kind of groovy tunes that sound like they were recorded in 1966. Mildly psychedelic surf music that couldn’t have come from anywhere other than California.
Calico Review is their 3rd record, and it’s really not a departure from the sound of their last 2 albums, yet that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Think Beach Boys but a little melancholy and that’s the Las.
Drenched in reverb with semi-sad lyrics and a few George Harrison style solos. It’s good stuff.
While the music sounds like it’s sunny day happy good times music, the words can get pretty gloomy. Take the standout track and lead single “Could Be You”, for instance. The music sounds similar to The Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll”, but the words are just not that positive.
“Summer daze and all the ways you went about before,
All the times you walked away and ended at your door
Step wondering just how you got back here
And now it seems your vision ain’t so clear”
Other songs deal with themes such as being unsure about the future, satisfaction (or lack thereof), a grave on the side of a highway, longing, death, and the loss of someone, a significant other. Quite melancholy. Despite that though, the record does have a certain sense of warmness to it. Pedrum Siadatian’s Non-Reverse Firebird has a very creamy overdriven tone, and it wraps you up like a blanket. On “Warmed Kippers”, he even graduates into a gritty fuzz tone for a little psychedelia…and it is glorious.
The Allah-Las have perfected the art of creating vintage sounding garage rock ‘n’ roll. Lo-Fi but not unlistenable. Reverberating but not washed out. Go give it a spin ASAP.
by JARED HARRISON