Allah-Las: Allah-Las

Retro fun hits sweet spot.

Every so often, a band emerges that are so unashamedly retro-sounding that they make their nostalgic shtick sound completely box-fresh. The Strokes and Kings Of Leon are two splendid examples from the last decade.

In a similar vein, this Los Angeles quartet really could have just stepped out of a time machine from the ‘60s. Their sound is steeped in the pop sensibilities of The Zombies and The Kinks, laced with Northern Soul, lo-fi funk and and the ever-enduring influence of Arthur Lee and Love.

The cumulative effect is that they come across as a gang of West Coast Mods, and a very entertaining bunch at that.

Straight out of the blocks with the ear-catching stoner rock of ‘Catamaran’, they waste no time in winning the listener’s interest and affections. Their songwriting chops are impressively strong, and there’s a pleasing flow to this eponymous debut, but a little more attention to the production might have reaped further dividends.

‘Busman’s Holiday’ has all the curious charm of a lost sixties nugget, which is simultaneously both a weakness and a strength. In last year’s music book of the year, Retromania – Pop Culture’s Addiction To Its Own Past, Simon Reynolds convincingly presented the case that we live in a pop age that’s gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. True. But when it sounds this good, who cares?

 

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