Release Date: Sep 16, 2014
Record label: Innovative Leisure
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Garage Rock Revival
L.A. garage psych revivalists the Allah-Las didn't mess around with their winning formula much on their second album, 2014's Worship the Sun. Working with retro-leaning producer Nick Waterhouse again, the quartet can still effortlessly crank out chiming ballads that sound worthy of a strong volume of Pebbles, dish out moody midtempo tracks that have the feel of classic West Coast bands like the Chocolate Watchband, and take the occasional instrumental detour that come off like surf music that's been dragged through some desert dust.
Few bands embody the Los Angeles lifestyle as much as Allah-Las. Meeting at the iconic Amoeba Records, bonding over a love of surf, VW Campervans and vinyl, the band formed more out of collective passions and interests than musical ability. As is frequently noted, Matthew Correia couldn’t even play the drums prior to being plonked down behind a kit at the band's first practice.
The Los Angeles-based Allah-Las’ modernized version of retro rock suited for garages along the coastline came as a welcome surprise in 2012. The band’s self-titled debut encapsulated the fusion of British rock ‘n’ roll and American surf, entrancing audiences with its stoned, vaguely nostalgic tunes. On their newest effort, singer Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian, bassist Spencer Dunham and drummer Matthew Correia don’t mess with this formula.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Allah-Las are a bunch of quintessential surfer dudes from Los Angeles that met whilst working at the world famous Ameoba Records, bonding over a passion for classic vinyl and bands such as Love and The Zombies. Their first record was a trip; a breezy soundtrack for the back end of the Summer of 2012, and a very good debut and introduction to an interesting and captivating rock'n'roll band.
Allah-Las’ 2012 debut album was a coming together of the fuzz-laden influences they’d picked up working in LA record store Amoeba Music. ‘Worship The Sun’ continues that approach, sounding more cohesive in the process. Somehow, though, it’s also more sluggish – their ‘60s indebted garage-rock drags where once it excited. ‘De Vida Voz’ begins promisingly with thwacking distortion, but that subsides too soon and the yawning backing vocals on ‘Had It All’ are like a drawn out sigh.
Naturally, for a band made up of former second-hand record shop employees, the title of Allah-Las’s second album makes reference to a song by an indie touchstone – Felt’s I Worship the Sun. Those beguiled by the psychedelic garage-pop of this LA foursome’s debut will find more impeccable mid-60s nuggets here, as sun-dappled as they are faintly sinister. Rivetingly, the downbeat Nothing to Hide throws in one tempo curveball.
After attracting attention a couple of years ago for bringing about the return of 1960s-inspired guitar pop, Los Angeles’s Allah-Las could be entitled to feel a bit miffed that their former support band, Temples, have stolen their thunder. It’s hard to listen to the young quartet’s second album without feeling that their British counterparts are doing a similar thing, but with more robust grooves and more populist songs. The comparison isn’t helped by the fact that Allah-Las have shifted from their debut’s 1965 vintage guitar pop towards core Temples territory: reproduction late-60s west-coast psychedelic pop.
Hailing from the sunny coast of California and having formed the band after all working together in the famous Amoeba Records, Allah-Las’ second LP of psychedelic pop brings more of the authentically laid back and sun-soaked feel of their debut. This time approaching the album as more of a studio record, there are hints of a darker, more mature band here, however Allah-Las are not a group desperate to grow up too quickly; and with the feeling that the laid back Californian lifestyle is so interwoven into their sound, it would be a shame if they were. "We approached Worship The Sun more as an album, with the songs all built out of the same material and feelings.
The Allah Las weren’t even born when their late-1960s sound was first devised, when bands like the Pretty Things, Chocolate Watchband and the West Coast Pop Art Experiment shined a sunshiny light through the drone and shamble of early rock and roll. No, they learned the Nuggets style by listening to records, apparently. All four members of this two-guitar, bass, drums outfit worked at Amoeba at one point.