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FILTER Grade: 85%

By Kendah El-Ali on September 18, 2012



Close your eyes, roll your head back. Now look up at the California palms. Whether the coastline be Pacific or Persian Gulf, this debut by these Hanni El Khatib and Nick Waterhouse labelmates will strike a visceral cord with anyone who finds beauty in being blinded by the sun. Resurrecting ghosts of endless summers past, Allah-Las are modern surf and psych-rock at its best. “Ela Navega” and “Sacred Sands” slide-guitar their ways along glittering, sunset beaches, the former closing out with the sounds of the tide. “Tell Me (What’s on Your Mind)” and “Don’t You Forget It” swagger in on slow-rolling, simple basslines, making for awesomely cocky, classic beach rock. But perhaps the brightest jewel in this unlikely crown of a surfer’s paradise lost is closing track “Long Journey.” Sounding like it was recorded in an Orange County garage 50 years ago, it’s also a glimmer of what was once cool about being American.

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