The sound of the Gods made real by these Californian daydreamers, the Allah-Las. A name as endearing as their sound, a retro melody for those days spent at deserts and waterfalls. This 4-piece dream team is proud as punch to claim Los Angeles as their home, using it and all the surroundings as a source of inspiration for their strongest album yet, Calico Review. Ah relief, finally a band I can trust, and boy oh' Sonny Jim have they done a good job at creating music that resonates and encapsulates a Californian landscape just like a photograph. Hooray for these dudes being musical progressors and not melodic depressors, making our future commute from A to B that much more blissful and exciting.
We have all at one stage said “I wish I could relive the 60s” or something along those lines – well these cowboys are actually doing that. Their riffs are an explosion of moments in time, one that involves a 1964 El Dorado Cadillac. It’s simple – this is the kind of music that defines the places we go. Drop Autumn Dawn when you’re making your way up that hill, and this song will remind you of the top of that hill forever. It's feel-good music, swinging you between cool breezes and misty mornings like that time you felt really, really unemployed and really, really stoked about it. What I really like about this album is that it’s even more tapped into reviving psychedelic 60s rock than their previous archives, the 2012 self titled debut and their 2014 release Worship the Sun. Both a great ode to those times and a marvellous introduction to what this quartet are capable of.
Now let's talk songs, an obvious sore thumb off the album is Could Be You, rockin’ and rollin’ us all over the decades asking us “if you had the chance to, would you do it all again?”. Yes, yes I would – because that is exactly what this song does - puts me in a yes mood and makes me want to relive all my good times. The lyrics on this one are a good time; a song that opens with “summer days” just can’t go wrong.
The second song will make you be just that, Satisfied. Fusing vintage beats and making you drunk on euphoric thoughts, it’s a song you would have on when you're either - a) sweaty, b) high or c) lost in a field of pansies and poppies. When that organ comes in, you melt and a, b & c are all happening.
The one that gets me every time, and probably the catchiest is Famous Phone Figure – it’s very easy to listen to and opens in a very Beach Boy-ish kind of way. It’s smooth, it’s church-y and it has a tambourine, using their 2.25 wisely to create something that is soothing and melancholic. The vocals encourage you to enter dream-state, and it's highly probably that you will.
Wrapping it up with the musically transcending, Terra Ignota, front man Miles Michaud really knows how to send you back in time. Remember the song Golden Brown by The Stranglers? Well, this one sends you just as starry-eyed.
There we have it folks, imagery made easy by the breezy Allah-Las, 200 South La Brea says it well - this is “where dreams are made of”. It’s an album that alludes to the journey and not the destination, but when you get there, you will know that these songs made the destination just that little bit better.
Review // Daini Stephenson @dainistephenson
Music // Allah-Lahs @allahlahs