Worship the Sun

Written by: BV on 23/09/2014 14:46:30

Sometime around 2013 I was taken aback by the band Allah-Las and their jangly California-surf inspired sounds. Having been a bit late to the game and actually only stumbling upon them by accident, one could argue that their debut album was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2013. Now, they’re back with their sophomore effort, the aptly titled “Worship the Sun”, in an attempt to once again create an album of extraordinarily catchy jangle-tracks of pure sunshine condensed into relatively short pieces of music.

Tracks like “Had it All” and “Artifact” recall a familiar grace, sounding like something that could have easily come off of their debut album – especially “Had it All” with its pop-song structure, exquisite vocal harmonies and the superb jangle of a 12-string guitar. Spencer Dunham’s bass-lines recalls the glory days of sunshine-pop acts like Creation of Sunlight whilst vocalist Miles Michaud’s limited but highly eclectic vocal range adds a very distinct feature to the track that makes the listener able to identify this as being an Allah-Las track.

“Nothing to Hide” showcases a newfound maturity of the band, however, fueled by a highly dynamic groove somewhat reminiscent of the opening notes of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” in vibe, signifying a new aspect of Allah-Las sound, wherein their mellow moods function in the form of mid-to-low tempo pop songs that rely far heavier on Dunham’s bass grooves than on Pedrum Siadatian’s jangling 12-string guitar sounds that used to embody the main driving force of their sound. The incorporation of wider pallet of guitar-effects, as can be heard on the guitar solo of the track, also showcases a deviation from their original formula, which included nothing more than heaps of reverb and slightly crunchy guitars, over to a sonic territory which includes both tremolo and vibrato effects, plus a touch of fuzz here and there.

On “No Werewolf” all of the new aspects of Allah-Las sound seem to be incorporated into one magnificent vehicle, driven forth by the subtle drumming of Matthew Correia. “No Werewolf” recalls the initial greatness of surf-rock from the sixties with its persistent and simple bass groove, catchy lead-lines and the overall vibe of the track. It sounds like something that could have been used for a charming low-budget movie about California-based stoners or even an early spy movie – thus channeling much of what surf rock has become known for in recent years.

All in all there is no denying that Allah-Las have gone through a maturity process which has yielded positive results for their sound – effectively keeping them from getting stuck in a rut of monotony. However, the progress is not so successful that “Worship the Sun” is able to transcend the initial charm of their debut album. However, given time I am relatively sure that Allah-Las’ newly found sonic maturity can be condensed into an album that could outshine the likes of their stunning debut.


Download: Nothing to Hide, Had it All, Yemeni Jade, No Werewolf
For the fans of: White Fence, Temples, The Setting Son
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.09.2014
Innovative Leisure

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