Los Angeles garage rockers Allah-Las spent the last few weeks touring Europe. Between gigs at Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? Festival and Amsterdam’s Paradiso, the band dropped by Red Light Radio – an online radio station housed in a former prostitution window – to take over master controls for an hour-long set that showcased the band’s encyclopedic knowledge of rock’s present and past. Much has been made of the band’s formation in 2008, while three of its four members worked at longtime bastion of American musical commerce Amoeba Records in LA. Initially, it read like a convenient storyline: dudes bond over vinyl on the record industry’s most hallowed turf / dudes start band embracing the best of ’60s psychedelic garage rock / dudes cut a record / everyone loves it / The End.
Fortunately, Allah-Las LP surpasses the prosaic narrative behind its origins. The boys don’t disappoint as disc jockeys either, despite their less than magnetic on-air personalities and a fumble at the outset. Musicians are routinely asked about their influences, and we’re often fed a short list of generic responses. Here, we get to listen first hand. It’s a rare opportunity to listen to a band spin records as a group. The Allah-Las’ set leans on the oldies but peppers in a handful of new bands worth your attention as well. I was particularly taken with Gap Dream’s “Generator,” recently released on Suicide Squeeze Records. Listen to the set in its entirety below.
Written by Rob Peoni