The Allah-Las are local revival rockers that have been rolling into success this year. They’ve released some singles and performed many shows around town and finally released their self-titled debut in September. It’s a perfectly fine beach rock release and, on cool sunny days like this, a dozen surf anthems always does a body good.
The group conjures the purest, poppiest early psych-rock from the vocal wails to very precise golden guitar strums. They sound like a mixture of any Beach Blanket Bingo group combined with the edge that came as counter-culture injected itself into the sixties. There is a lot of strumming along and Summer time beach rocking like “Dont’ You Forget It,” a man-power song that basically is speaking to how great these guys are. “Vis-A-Vis” and “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)” are the most successful songs and clearest proper hits as they sound like Rolling Stones B-sides. Given the purity of their sound, there are some curious entries like the bellowing “Sandy,” samba influenced “Ela Navega,” and progressive chord closer “Long Journey.”
It’s all good albeit imperfect. The problem? It does all kind of run together in beach surf. Beach revivalism is a hoot but given the size of the release you have to dig into the minutiae of what is happening on the album to find what sets the songs apart from each other. The Allah-Las do create perfect recreations of this sound, you will enjoy it, but you do have a tiny lingering question of, “How can they take this to the next level?” We’ll all have to keep an eye on them as this is a super rad release but it feels more revivalism than it does improvement or innovation. They’ll get there.