Allah-Las’s new album ‘Calico Review’ has a unique sound filled with excellent guitar playing, cleaver word play, precise harmonies and vintage organs and keyboards. It has a nostalgic California surf, garage rock sound in all the best possible ways, with some influence from European pop. Comparable to little known Human Expression, Levitation Room, L.A. Witch at times even reminds me of Dylan and a general air of 1960s psychedelia and surf.
Many of the songs are about life in California everything from aspiring actresses to meaningful introspective lyrics for example, “you can search forever for what’s already inside.” Famous Phone Figure is the first single from this wonderful album with string arrangements, mellotron, organs and vocal harmonies, and a great catchy chorus. The song is about a women who is “a famous phone figure” and he asks, “is this some kind of job?” and “Will she make a daisy chain with all the comments left in vain?”
Allah-Las has grown in their song writing and arrangements most notably the addition of more organs and mellotron. It is true that they have a recognizable sound that is all their own and that is present on each album but the songs and lyrics certainly have evolved with each release. This band is packed with talented song writers and on this astounding release they each have a chance to compose and record their own songs giving the album variety and flavor which is consistent and cohesive. The music makes you want to sing and leaves melodies and fun lyrics strung through your mind reminding us all to lighten up and enjoy the ride.
Could Be You
High & Dry
Famous Phone Figure
200 South La Brea
Place In The Sun
Many of the songs contain contributions from Tomas Dolas on organ, mellotron and more. He also engineered the album and plays in the organ driven psych band Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel.
Article by: Temple Rose