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3.9 out of 5 stars24
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 August 2013
Allah-Las is a very self-assured and accomplished debut album and belongs in the record collection of anyone with a soft spot for the melodic Psych-Pop/West Coast Rock of the 1960s. While there is a lot of emphasis on atmosphere and "period charm", there's so much more to Allah-Las than that. The songs themselves are extremely well-written, arranged and played, instruments ranging from chiming 12-string electric guitars and thumping bass to quietly assertive drums, tambourine, maracas, bongo drums, and the obligatory organ and shakers, all wrapped in the appropriate amount of reverb. Like the dreamy album cover, these evocative songs conjure up images of southern California, the beach, the sea, youthful romanticism, sunsets, and late night bonfires.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 November 2012
No sooner had I reviewed a Dick Dale record than I was pointed in the direction of this album as the early 60's Californian influence is all too obvious. And yet for me that isn't the only sensation I get having listened to the album a couple of times now. For me it's also like re-visiting the early Who and the My Generation album, which I now realise was apparently heavily influenced by Southern Californian sounds, early Byrds and the afore mentioned Dick Dale. I can also hear the likes of Orange Juice and Seventeen Seconds era Cure, the latter especially so in the instrumental "Sacred Sands". I have to say I like the album, the restrained vocals mixing well with the jangly guitar and crisp drum sound, my only reservation being that it is very derivative but even then what isn't nowadays. In any event this is a good album that rewards repeated plays.

Edit: Added 3rd Nov. I've been listening to this album pretty much non stop for the last couple of days and just had to add a fifth star. This album grows and grows on you and it is now firmly ensconced in my 2012 Top 10 album list
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on 17 March 2014
The Allah-Las are the latest exponents of retro surf-rock to make waves on this side of the Atlantic. Their eponymous debut album, recorded at the analogue only Distillery studios in Costa Mesa in an attempt to re-capture the raw, unfettered sound that characterised classic garage rock, is one of the albums of the year. Produced by kindred spirit Nick Waterhouse( his own r&b workouts have the same rough-edged grace about them) the batch of slow burning tracks laid down here have a grainy, organic texture to them that certainly makes them feel like the real deal. Opening track Catarmaran sets the tone for the album to come, with it's sun-kissed groove, laconic vocal and British Invasion vibe. Waterhouse, applying the principle that less is more, keeps his distance allowing Pedrum Siadatian's elegantly prosaic guitar to etch out the melody. On the equally understated' Don't You Forget It' singer Miles Michaud comes across like the mean spirited twin of Jonathan Richman- " I think i've found the girl that I can talk to, yeah. I think I've found the girl that just might replace you". More often though, as on Busman's Holiday and on the outstanding Long Journey Home, he sounds like a wasted Eric Burdon-" It's been a long, long, ride I don't know where i'll sleep tonight, under the stars or maybe in your bed, alright". Whilst Howler's debut album America, Give Up may boast more outright classics, The Allah -Las have succeeded in delivering the more rounded, intuitive work. Together they may have re-invented the wheel. Get ready to jump on their bandwagon as it rolls back to the future.
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The Allah-Las have received (mostly) a very favourable reception in the UK press. In some respects, it's not hard to see why; a contemporary band taking their inspiration from the Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-68 era of US Garage-Rock - you know, The Seeds, Shadows of Knight, The Syndicate of Sound, The Nightcrawlers, bands of that ilk - all heavily-reverbed Fender Twin amps, primitive rhythms, sneery vocals. There's also a bit of Surf Rock and even a smidgeon of Bossa Nova experimentation on here too, and it's pleasant enough, beautifully rendered, and sounds a lot less tinny and trebly than the original Garage gear. So far, so retro, and that's fine by me - up to a point. And the point is this; to play this sort of stuff in the here and now, to me, you've got to have some truly memorable SONGS, and this, dear reader, is the Allah-Las big failing, in my estimation. Where the songs are undoubtedly not lacking in a period charm, they just don't engage, and I have given this album several concerted listenings. I keep waiting for some big revelation that never comes; they're fine as far as they go - and that may be enough for a lotta folks, and maybe my expectation levels have been raised by the surfeit of critical preass nosegays that have been thrown their way - in summation, I wanted to like this album a whole lot more than I do. Buyer beware...
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on 20 December 2014
I discovered Allah-Las with their second album. I enjoyed the '66-'67 vibe and found that some tracks (less than half, have to say) were interesting, though clearly derivative. Most reviews were praising their first record, far superior and fresher, so I decided to have a go.
60s garage-rock? Surf? Oh dear, no! Here the closer Allah-Las come to are Merseybeat's Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, Manfred Man with no hits... They sound like a second class band from 1962 or 1963 who still have to learn the lesson from the Beatles or the Beach Boys. Three tracks are fine (not outstanding): Don't you forget it, Sandy, and Long Journey. The rest is frankly annoying.
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on 30 April 2013
Ok lets get one thing straight. I love garage rock. I have loved it and culled it from every available avenue for the best part of 30 years. I believe this allows me to take an objective review of the Allah Las record. This record is poor if you love garage rock. This record is a pale facsimile of garage rock. The songs aren't 'dumb-smart' like those you find on Greg Shaw's impeccable Pebbles series, nor lovingly 'dumb-dumb' like you find on Tim Warrens impeccable "Back From The Grave" series. This is retro-garage by numbers. The lyrics are dull, the tunes are pallid and thin. The vocals are like a bored Sky Saxon (and you know thats not good). I wanted this to be great, I always look forward to hearing garage rock performed well and whilst this has many of the sonic traits of the genre it is let down by the lack of PASSION in the performance. If you are looking for garage rock thrills you need to look elsewhere brother. Pushin' too hard? Not pushin' at all my friends. Two stars.
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on 19 December 2015
I like to think I'm quite the connoisseur of 'good music'. I love everything from the Pixies to the Aphex Twin. This completely passed me by on its release. There's so much soul and beauty in this, there's melodys that will capture your mind and take it to somewhere amazing. It's like a soundtrack to travelling the world. Get ready to love these guys.
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on 24 October 2014
The low ratings don't do this justice, get a copy on vinyl before it's deleted.
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on 4 July 2015
The best 60s-inspired garage rock band, for many years. Very Authentic.
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on 13 August 2015
Such fast delivery!! Very happy
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