“Reward” is Cate Le Bon’s new album on Brooklyn label, Mexican Summer, and is strikingly original, possibly the most thoughtfully-composed pop albums of the year.
Live in Portland October 4 | Revolution Hall
Allah-Las’ sound consists of echoes reverberating from the ‘60s and ‘70s, resembling a kinship to early psychedelic bands like The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane and The Animals, or a mellowed-out version of The Stooges. This however doesn’t leave them painted into a dayglo corner, trapped by a paisley-pop-throwback reputation. They roll shamelessly with the purity of their music that is naturally ingrained with the ‘60s vibe, but still manages to produce an original spirit, sound and feeling with their honest and creative approach.
Their 2012 self-titled debut LP hit hard with delicate and wispy riffs, accompanied by soulful vocals and lyrics soaked in sexuality and longing. 2014 brought their second full-length, Worship the Sun, which continued this timeless sentiment in flowing succession. The charm that their first two albums carry is accentuated by a few instrumental gems, such as “Sacred Sands” from the self-titled and “Ferus Gallery” from Worship the Sun. Their third album, Calico Review, features vocals throughout and solidifies the band’s evolution into a new, slightly even slower sound with a deeper groove, highlighted by tracks like “Could Be You” and “Warm Kippers.”
Gentrification has been a rising issue across the west coast, only becoming glaringly obvious in Portland over the past decade, but this baffling and frustrating situation is nothing new and no less abrasive to the Los Angeles quartet. Drummer Matt Correia was quoted in a 2016 interview explaining, “I think LA has a bad name because it’s always attracted a lot of douchebags.” Wealthy business folk sweeping the scene with dreams of capitalizing on thriving culture and the local art of the region, only to squeeze out that very creativity by an ensuing spike in the cost of living. We can certainly relate to this point of view here in Portland, and welcome that artistic resistance, especially when it’s embodied by a band with the know-how to authentically navigate the rising tide of the music scene with such hip, swaying style and sun soaked charm. »