4 December, 2012 in Music Reviews
The times may be a changing but these revivalists are unwilling to countenance an age outside of the swinging sixties
hat the Rolling Stones are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary with ticket prices that would have probably bought you a modest semi in 1962, it brings it into sharp focus how far away we now are from that decade.
Los Angeles four-piece Allah-La’s (no ‘the’) don’t have one foot in the sixties. No, both feet are firmly stuck in those days. Even more so than their elder cousins, The Beachwood Sparks, or The Rain Parade, who were perhaps the first Californian act to head back in time in the early eighties. As a musical exercise in re-creating the trans-Atlantic garage sounds of the mid sixties, it’s an unqualified success. Where the Allah-La’s come really unstuck though is in the lack of really memorable songs and almost stifling sense of conservatism hovering around the whole album; in their world even Abbey Road or Beggars Banquet are still not yet on the horizon. Perhaps the only song on the album to worry itself with some more modern reference points is Vis-a-Vis, where they stumble, seemingly accidentally, across a 1986 take on the sixties, worthy of the early Creation label bands.
Apparently, they’re planning to record their next album with fellow L.A retro-rocker Jonathan Wilson, who at least acknowledges that the early 1970’s happened. Like Mad Men’s Don Draper, the Allah-La’s could definitely benefit from a gentle nudge towards the present day.
Verdict: Sixties garage rock unwilling to leave that decade.