If you drive past the 200 block of South La Brea, there is a lamp shop, a pet shop, and a little glass door that says “Casting Agency” above it. Inside you’ll find one of LA’s most stereotypical rituals, where men & women from all walks of life vie for the attention and popularity of the Hollywood producer. It’s a dream factory for some of them. It’s also a place where Los Angeles outsiders learn what the city is really like, beyond the sun and surf and celebrities, where every brightly-lit surface eventually faces a cloud.
Indeed, the lessons learned by the Allah-Las – guitarists Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian, bassist Spencer Dunham, drummer Matthew Correia – since their auspicious formation in 2008 have been tempered with experience. Now, with their third album Calico Review (their first for Mexican Summer), their experience transforms once more, this time into wisdom. The band’s trajectory, formed around mutual appreciation for the same kinds of music and a host of shared experiences, focuses on both the outer trappings of their home and surroundings, and the through line of darkness that suffuses life in LA county.
Where the Allah-Las display their insight, and what really shines across the 12 songs that comprise Calico Review, is the way that the group has pivoted from specific influences and nods to the music they love, to crafting the feelings of freedom, grit, and melancholy in their music. That feeling – the peerless capture of music long in the tradition and mood of California pop, the sound that’s captured the essence of the LA experience – aligns with their stylistic technique and their experience in the studio environment to create their strongest album to date, one which showcases their developments in songwriting and arrangements.
|A3||Could You Be|
|A4||High & Dry|
|B2||Famous Phone Figure|
|B3||200 South La Brea|
|B6||Place In The Sun|