Allah-Las dragged themselves off the beaches and palm-tree-lined boulevards of Los Angeles to record this third album of theirs. They did bring that warm, laid-back tone into the studio with them though: Calico Review feels like the kind of summer record you play as the evening starts to settle in. Out on Mexican Summer.
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It must be a tough life being an Allah La. You wake up at about 2pm in the middle of an LA heatwave, check if your palm tree has made it through the night ok, grab a breakfast burrito before the days big decision of choosing which sunglasses to wear takes place. From there it’s into the studio to make the most laid back music it’s possible to make whilst actually standing upright. Music so relaxed that it makes the Velvet Underground’s Third album sound like Devo.
And so it’s onto their third album which is a horizontally composed grab bag of 60s sounds seemingly composed whilst under the influence of zopiclone. When melodies do wander their way into becoming a distinct thing as on ‘Satisfied’ the results are lovely and on ‘Could Be You’ they channel perfectly the early Velvet Underground with sprightly chug-a-long. Elsewhere ‘High And Dry’ is Herman’s Hermits emerging through a transistor radio warped by the sun.
The only problem with all this insouciance is that Allah Las never quite hit the actual sweet spot. They never thrill in the way say Triptides do and they certainly never feel energised. Instead we get a pleasant collection of vintage guitar pop sounds that are truly authentic. Cool as a slush puppy on the hottest day of the year.
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- Calico Review by Allah-Las
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