Allah-Las - “Allah Las” (Innovative Leisure 2012)
Once upon a time, when a warm enchanting sun rose and set around just me, a bit of musical wanderlust floated in from California ... it was called Garage Psych. The songs were filled with cascading distant harmonics, stories of emotional walls, dreamy romanticism, cutting cynicism, fuzzy guitars, a solitary loneliness, and above all, it sounded honest; as if the bands were singing directly to me. If I were pressed to define Garage Psych, I would have to say that it captures that easily missed breath, when youth is both a moment in time and a memory. That’s why so few garage psych bands last long, and why so few garage psych bands ever release more than a couple of defining records. After all, they’re too young to know the ways of the world, too young to even know themselves, and too young and inexperienced to understand the musical inner-workings of a music studio. Garage Psych is not a learning process, it’s almost a one shot deal, so finding bands who can capture and define that internal moment in time, yet alone set it to a seductive groovy infectious sound, is always a delight.
Garage Psych has never gone away or out of style, it’s just become more rare and highly prized, and to that end the Allah-Las have encapsulated and distilled all of what makes garage psych so good. There’s nothing visionary about this twelve track release, it will forever live perfectly in the moment ... a warm balanced stylized dizzying sunset smile for those like me, and an emotional breakthrough of profound enlightenment for anyone under the age of twenty. The vintage sounding music and lyrics combine effortlessly, there’s a delightful stoner quality to each of the songs that are rendered from the heart, and filled with an alienated vulnerability that’s almost apocalyptic in nature.
The release sounds very off-the-cuff and easy going, but as always, the things that appear most laid-back are often the most complicated to capture, with the band diving headlong into an analog recording process that hung-on for a bit, and all but vanished somewhere in the late 1950’s with with rise of dynamic stereo. You don’t just hear this album, you feel it, it’s warm, it's layered with magical musical and vocal harmonies, it’s private and restrained, yet open-ended enough to cause you to stand preoccupied within your own thoughts, staring off into space.
Review made by Jenell Kesler/2013
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