The Verse’s Lorenzo Ottone previews Allah Las ahead of their Patterns show on the 21st October.
If Ennio Morricone hadn’t already excellently provided 50 years ago, Allah Las would probably be the soundtrack to Sergio Leone’s iconic Dollar Trilogy. The definition of surf music often given to the Californian band sound is way too limitative. Allah Las awake an entire imagery made of Spaghetti Western desert vibes, Cal Tjader’s hip and haunting latin jazz rhythms, West Coast jingle-jangling 60s bands, Steve McQueen films, Mirò and Calder geometrical paintings, Frank Lloyd Wright architectures for Ivy Americans and analogical 35mm cameras. They sum up all the different sides of 1960s US society into a sound that, despite one’s possible expectations, is uniquely innovative and far from the mere tribute to West Coast glory and tripping days.
The band – made up of former clerks of LA record shop Amoeba – returns to Brighton with their latest LP Calico Review which sees their debut on Mexican Summer and the farewell with former two albums producer and RnB singer-guitarist Nick Waterhouse.
Calico Review is Allah Las’ Forever Changes (single Famous Phone Figure sounds as penned by Arthur Lee), an album rich of orchestral arrangements and slowed-down in pace. The LP’s 12 tracks portray the disillusionment for Los Angeles’ tough side darkened by the initial booze of golden beaches, surfers and Hollywood Boulevard stars. Despite Allah Las’ music is often linked with the sun (the previous album being entitled Worship The Sun), Calico Review marks a farewell to the summer and investigates the autumn of the lives of those many people who fail to succeed in LA and refuge to the outskirts made of neon lights and empty swimming pools motels. 200 South La Brea, one of the best tracks, cynically refers to the address of an LA model scouting agency against which windows many young girls’ dreams crash after moving to the metropolis in search of the coveted fame.
Allah Las are now probably at their wisest and the already sold-out show promises to be a much-awaited compendium of their old and new material, between the waves surfing days and the hallucinated reflective ones.
Allah Las plus support play at Patterns on Friday 21st October. For more details, visit Patterns.