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Album Review: Allah-Las – Allah-Las

Allah-Las are a psych rock band who formed in Los Angeles back in 2008, priding themselves on their LA-centric, geographically enhanced laid-back style. Having released their debut EP Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind) earlier this year to rave reviews and the impressive approval of Patrick Campbell-Lyons, Allah Las are in a great position to release a full-length album. They also gathered masses of interest from the trendier American blogs and some UK ones after they turned heads at this year’s FYF Fest hosted in LA.

One wonders why it has taken the four-piece four years to collect up the tracks for their debut, but as the album unfolds it is clear that many a heartbreak has been woven into each track, carefully crafted with love and longing.  The record teems with nostalgic jangle-pop, hints of garage, psych and groove. The fuzzy, harmonised backgrounds and sundrenched guitars wash over you in a haze of blurry dream rock.

Allah Las are a band that wear their influences on their sleeve, with hints of Byrds, Love, The Kinks and even The Rolling Stones. They have that expansive sound that instantly draws the listener in, much like the more recent Tame Impala. The album has such classicist influences that one could be forgiven for mistaking it for an old dusty LP from the ’60s dug out of a record store.

Opener ‘Catamaran’ instantly transports you to a chilled out day on the LA sea front. The band are surfers as well as musicians, an obvious sway over the tone of their music on tracks like ‘Busman’s Holiday’ and ‘Sacred Sands’.  This album begs to be enjoyed in a social setting and is perfect background music. ‘Ela Nevega’ is an ambient grooving instrumental, a necessary break between the other more vocally led tracks.

There is nothing avant-garde about this record – it is more a loving homage to LA and it’s dusty pavements and gleaming seascapes, attributes that make it one of the most alluring places in the world. The album blurs through expressively and is nothing short of spectacular, unionising the bright sunshine and waves with the inevitable heartbreak that even the enviable setting of LA can’t quite soothe.

-Catherine Elliott

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