Why is Allah-Las’ Allah-Las on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Garage rock with the perfect concoction of indie, moody pop, and psychedelic influences.
What does Allah-Las mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Some bands and some albums are a lot easier to explain than others. Bob Marley equals reggae. Let’s Go is a punk rock album. Black Sabbath puts the heavy in heavy metal. And so on.
Allah-Las – and this holds true for their self-titled debut album, Allah-Las, for that matter – defy easy definition. They fall into the garage rock side of the rock ‘n roll spectrum, but usually with garage rock one thinks of much louder bands ranging from The Kingsmen to The White Stripes. They’re clearly influenced by quieter, moodier, indie rock style vibes, but they shouldn’t be confused with a band like The Shins either.
And, further, they have a tinge of a new style psychedelia-type vibe, and perhaps could be housed a little more closely with 1960s bands of a similar-ish style like The Byrds. But, again really, Allah-Las are their own thing.
“Catamaran” is one of my favorite Allah-Las songs, and the perfect example of what the band does sound like. And, well, even in listening to it while writing these words, I’m thinking, “This does kind of sound like The Kingsmen if they really chilled out, maybe?”
“Tell Me (What’s on Your Mind)” picks up the tempo a touch and has that perfect dusting of psychedelia that comes largely from the reverb on the guitar, the slight distortion of the vocals, and the overall stellar production by Nick Waterhouse. It should be noted, too, that Allah-Las write outstanding guitar hooks, which is as much a reason as any as to why they’re really good.
“Busman’s Holiday” has a great road song quality to it, making you want to get moving somewhere where you can put the windows down and the sound way up.
Pop culture things that have something to do with Allah-Las
My little riff above where I give examples of bands and albums that are “easier to explain than others” brought to mind a radio ad from my childhood that makes me chuckle whenever I remember it.
It was the peak of the hair metal era, and Dokken was coming to town, likely to perform at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island (where the New York Islanders play, as aside).
The radio ad for the show made sure to hit its major theme several times, which was: DOKKEN RHYMES WITH ROCKIN’.
This might be the only chance I get to talk about Dokken in the best 1,000 albums ever project, so I’ll take the opportunity to leave you with the power ballad, “Alone Again.”
Some stats & info about Allah-Las
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, SoCal Bands, Pop Music, Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival, Lounge Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Allah-Las released? 2012
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #764 out of 1,000
Allah-Las on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.