Los Angeles band The Allah-Las brought a bit of the California surf sound to Circle Bar last Tuesday on a rain-drenched New Orleans night. Hitting the stage just after 11:00, the four deeply tanned dudes easily transported the capacity crowd to sonically sunny places with bright, jangly guitars, four part harmonies, and sun soaked lyrics.
The recent trend of mining the sounds of the past has produced both true innovators (Tame Impala, Alabama Shakes) and poor imitators (Foxygen, Fleet Foxes). Fortunately, The Allah-Las’ surf-garage rock place them in the former category. Upon first listen, these guys do seem like the great lost band that deserve a spot on every mixtape ever made. A closer listen, however, reveals some bad vibes about loneliness and romantic frustration that root the tunes firmly in the present.
These guys also have the chops to back up their great songs. Although their debut LP was released last year, these guys have been playing together since 2008 and their onstage chemistry and precision show it. All four members could easily sing lead vocals; lead singer and guitarist Miles Michaud even swapped places with drummer Matthew Correia for the final song.
The Allah-Las are currently on a North American tour with The Black Angels (another prime example of a band that makes the sounds of the past refreshingly modern) and will head overseas to Europe for a string of dates in May and June. Catch ’em before they get bigger and soak in a bit of Cali sun for a fraction of the cost of a plane ticket.