L.A. Four-Piece Allah-Las Headline Brooklyn Steel on Saturday Night

January 18th, 2018

Allah-Lahs albums are things to get lost in: a swirl of influences that certainly throw back to ’60s psychedelic-pop landmarks the Zombies and the Kinks. Live, they take these sounds and set the listener on a kaleidoscopic ride that feels very blissful, very California, and heavy when you least expect it to, with tunes that are somehow both sanguine and melancholy. Unlike a lot of what’s labeled psychedelic, the foursome’s music doesn’t feel noisy and escapist—it’s sonically breezy, with a bit of grit thrown in, and lyrically deep, with each album since the band’s 2012 eponymous debut LP (stream it below) up through 2016’s superlative Calico Review (stream it below) a fuller expression than the last. “Once we started to gain a bit of an audience, there’s a certain sense of responsibility or duty that comes along with the knowledge that people are listening to what you’re writing,” singer-guitarist Miles Michaud told the Houston Press last year. “That knowledge allows us to touch on topics that are deeper and more resonant with people than the stuff we wrote before.” With a new album in the works, the band (above, performing “Could Be You” live in studio for KEXP FM) this past fall decided to tide over fans with the first in a series of covers releases, titled Covers #1 (stream it below). From George Harrison (“Fish On the Sand”) to Kathy Heideman (“The Earth Won’t Hold Me”), the choices are canny in the same way Allah-Lahs live shows are, with a coolly smiling vibe throughout. They’ll play one of their biggest local shows to date at Brooklyn Steel on Saturday, and you’ll see that same bemused coolness—imploring you to not trip over yourself trying to describe what they do, and just listen and absorb. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson