When I was a kid, an old folklore was when you put a large seashell to your ear you could hear the sea, no matter how far away from the coast you were. Somehow every seashell captured a repeating audio clip of waves breaking on the shore. When I listen to this self-titled album by Allah-Las, I get that feeling.

Nick Waterhouse, who I just saw, performing in Santa Barbara, produced all of these songs by Allah-Las. He is a fine L.A. singer-songwriter whose 2012 LP “Time’s All Gone” is a spirited and record-geek friendly collection of raucous 50s-style R&B surf sound thrasher. If you missed my post on Nick Waterhouse check it out (just click here).

Allah-Las sound is vintage R&B with a tad of Bossa Nova and some very old Rolling Stones yearning for the beach. (Most of the guys in this band surf.) The seductive groove of “Catamaran” has a strong ocean riptide pull, but the instrumental “Sacred Sands” shows where the band’s heart really is at the beach. The darker lyrics lurking inside “Sandy”, with its “too close to the sun, Icarus imagery rings very true for me”. Allah-Las are ultimately preoccupied with sound above all else. So long as there are 12-string guitars, four-piece drumkits and lots of reverb. Allah-Las preoccupation to the details is like the feeling after catching that epic wave of a session. That pitching sound of a wave hitting sand or reef gets forever embedded deeply in your cortex, “aka” only a surfer knows.

Allah-Las – 2012 Tracklist

  1. “Catamaran”
  2. “Don’t You Forget It”
  3. “Busman’s Holiday”
  4. “Sacred Sands”
  5. “No Voodoo”
  6. “Sandy”
  7. “Ela Navega”
  8. “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)”
  9. “Catalina”
  10. “Vis-à-vis”
  11. “Seven Point Five”
  12. “Long Journey”

Go deep into this music – David

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