- by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2016-09-09 Label: Mexican Summer
Entering the scene is the latest slice of the new psychedelic pie, namely Calico Review by the LA four piece, Miles, Pedrum, Spencer and Matt, the psych-rock merry makers, Allah-Las. Since Worship The Sun two years ago, Allah-Las have served up 12 merry musings to keep us occupied.
Introducing us to the album is 'Strange Heat', with its learing drum and guitar combo seems happy to sneak around your mind's perimeter hoping to slip in. Though by the time you realise that it actually has, the song moves onto the intensley groovy acoustic Satisfied, a concoction combining The Mamas and The Papas backing a happier Stone Roses, full of sweeping three-part harmonies and baggy swagger. Equal in vibe, though a tad leaning towards The Monkees pop style is 'Famous Phone Figure'.
A bright and Grateful Dead sunshine gleams over the speedy guitar driven Dylan-esque 'Could Be You', while that holds a pace for a moment, the tempo slows back down to walking pace via 'High And Dry', with its impish melodic jangly pop. Things seem to become melancholic Love-in on the tightly time changing 'Mauseleum'. Experimentally, the band on 'Roadside Memorial' somehow successfully mix The Byrds jangle guitar formula and some Psychobilly dynamics, whilst throwing in some raspy low-end sax stabs.
The joint plodding bass, punchy clav, shimmer guitar, percussive layers on 'Autumn Dawn', begins to switch between a straight beat to bossa-style drums. Following a quick out-of-interest search for the place referred to on'200 South La Brea', it came up as a pet supplies store, yet the cheerful delivery may suggest something quite different for a jangle pop shout-out.
The fuzzy half-time quirky melancholic air on 'Warmed Kippers' is another indicator that the band look to add further sounds to their current set up. The 5/4 swing groove on 'Terra Ignota' recalls to mind The Byrds' 'Tribal Gathering' edging to a more trippy ending.
Humming organs move around the booming to the point bass and drums, simple guitars and smiley vocals on the closer 'Place In The Sun', seems hopeful and leaves the album on a high note.
Stretching out appears as a plausible theme for Calico Review, it comes over a touch more experimental than the Garage Rock and Psych Rock vein found on the previous albums.