Allah-Las - Worship The Sun

by Rob Taylor Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-15

I’m not sure whether the Allah-Las named themselves after transcribing an inadvertent recording at a stoner party, but in any event the sweet tunes hailing down on Worship the Sun make the moniker an apt one.

 

Worship the Sun is the second album from Allah-Las, following up their acclaimed self-titled debut in 2012. They’ve expanded their sound with the addition of vibraphones, piano, steel-pedal guitar and more varied keyboards. The album was produced and engineered by Nick Waterhouse and Dan Home of Beechwood Sparks and Jonathon Wilson’s band.

 

I just purchased a used copy of The Preflyte Sessions by The Byrds, and also ordered Love’s Black Beauty, so I was in the zone with this one. The band counts those two bands among their influences. Listen to ‘Recurring’ and so much will be apparent.

 

The tunes on Worship the Sun are familiar to anyone, like me, who has a special parking spot on their shelves for pop/rock albums heralding from Los Angeles or thereabouts since the 60s. In fact, the influences segue a lot, as might be expected from self-confessed crate-diggers. There are also some slightly disparate although not incomprehensible references to bands like Chapel Hill’s KIngsbury Manx (listen to ‘Buffalo Nickel’), 10CC (listen to the opening of  'Ferus Gallery'), abd even early R.E.M. gone country twang on ‘Better Than Mine’.  

 

‘Every Girl’ could easily pass as a Brian Jonestown Massacre track. Of course, music is as open to interpretation as that nude dating reality show broadcast on US cable, but like nude dating, ancestral traces can always be implied.

 

For every apparently wilful reference on Worship the Sun, there appears a moment of eccentricity that belongs uniquely to the band. On ‘No Werewolf’, the band toys with surf-rock and Krautrock motorik riffs, and the results are authentic, and memorable.

 

With all the pretty, paisley pop out there at the moment, it's always better to have beauty with brains. There’s plenty of brains underpinning this album. It may be winsome but its also well buffed and burnished. It's an album of bronzed melodies that creep into your subconscious, and have you humming away to yourself all day, like the recent White Fence album. At times it’s almost inhumanly melodious, like the best of Gene Clark, Arthur Lee and friends.

 

For me, this is sitting in the top five indie-pop albums of 2014.

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