Published Oct 09, 2019Allah Las are back and groovier than ever. After a few years travelling, the band have honed their worldly perspective while maintaining their breezy Californian outlook on their new record LAHS. Taking a much beachier approach than 2016's Calico Review, these influences are apparent— with each song almost as an ode to an specific time and place, the band's fourth full-length record paints a hazy portrait of the vibey idealism they inhabit.
Opening track "Holding Pattern" could just as easily be a Grateful Dead track, if Jerry Garcia were, say, an Instagram influencer. Next, a creeper of a tune, "Keeping Dry," delivers saucy vocals atop drippy cooing guitar riffs for an absolute maximum chill effect. While the "Incense & Peppermints"-reminiscent "In the Air," is remarkably catchy, the Portuguese-sung "Prazer Em Te Conhecer" is one of the album's only true dance-appropriate tracks. With its slide guitar and bouncy vocals, it's one that will surely have crowds moving during the band's upcoming tour.
The instrumental tracks "Roco Ono" and "Houston" bookend the meatier mid-album helping. There, the tempo change indicates a shift from LAHS' acid trip siesta to its foot-tapping, tambourine-slapping fiesta. "Electricity" sees the Allah Las unfolding their distinctly '60s harmonies. When the album enters "Polar Onion," there is a mild tone-shift toward a more longing, saddened mood. The remainder of the record follows suit, signalling the album's encroaching end.
Though most the tracks become indistinguishable as a whole, there's something to be said for the record's thematic consistency and subtlety. Having few tonal shifts and being practically devoid of contrast, LAHS is the perfect atmospheric soundtrack for a backyard party with boozy beverages and adult tokeables. (Mexican Summer)