September 7, 2014

REVIEW: Allah-Las – Worship The Sun [LP]


Let us get the obvious out of the way first: Allah-Las sound like a group from the ‘60s. This is meant in the best way possible. They know their sound so well—whichever ‘60s sub-category you try to pin them under: garage rock, surf rock, Merseybeat, they pay homage to them all—that at every single second of Worship The Sun, their prodigiously deep second album, to be released on Sept. 16th on Innovative Leisure Records, the listener is transported back to that decade of great dreams and musical experimentation. Listen to Worship The Sun before say, The Kink Kontroversy, or after Camino Parkway, the ? & The Mysterians compilation—they’re musical contemporaries despite being separated by nearly five decades. We often listen to music from the ‘60s within a vacuum, but Allah-Las set to prove that the era’s music is still a living genre, one that is continuously evolving.

Such comparisons are only possible because of the high level of songwriting and musicianship on Worship The Sun. Each band member (Miles Michaud on vox and guitar, Pedrum Siadatian on lead guitar, Spencer Dunham on bass, and Matthew Correia on drums) plays together as a cohesive unit, with each part wholly defined while not upstaging the work of the other three. The fifth instrument, Michaud’s vocals, takes precedence at times, but even this isn’t always the case. Much credit has to be given to singer/guitarist Nick Waterhouse’s production, clear and subtle, musician-approved, for other musicians and music lovers.

Here’s a track-by-track rundown.

“De Vida Voz”: smooth chorus vocal with an intro that reminds me of “Alone Again Or”, the Forever Changes opener
“Had It All”: confident garage backbeat with cool repetition of title lyric
“Artefact”: fuzzy bass with great bridge
“Ferus Gallery”: great instrumental, erudite guitar communication with prominent tambourine
“Recurring”: one of the strongest lyrics on the album, Mersey-style harmonies
“Nothing To Hide”: tongue-in-cheek lyrics which would make the brothers Davies proud
“Buffalo Nickel”: bah-bah-bah vocal intro which leads right into the chorus, first half closes on a sunnier note after the disaffected “Nothing To Hide”

And that’s just the first half! I’ll allow you to listen to the second half and make your own judgments. The consistency persists and matches our expectations set during the first half of the album. Allah-Las proved their merit with their self-titled debut; Worship The Sun cements their position as one of the most relevant West Coast bands here in late 2k14. Check out their free show at Amoeba Records, former place of employment for three members, on Friday, September 5th. From there they shoot off to Europe next week for a full slab of dates which will take the LA natives through the end of October, followed by a return to US dates from mid-November until the end of the year.

Review by Christopher Gedos

Allah-Las – Had It All california (Info)

Rating 8.55


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