The Los Angeles-based Allah-Las’ modernized version of retro rock suited for garages along the coastline came as a welcome surprise in 2012. The band’s self-titled debut encapsulated the fusion of British rock ‘n’ roll and American surf, entrancing audiences with its stoned, vaguely nostalgic tunes. On their newest effort, singer Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian, bassist Spencer Dunham and drummer Matthew Correia don’t mess with this formula.
The fuzz and reverb sit atop the Allah-Las’ sophomore release Worship The Sun like the smog over their native city. The not-even-two-minute “501-415” and “Buffalo Nickel” exemplify this musical haze in the best, sing-along ways. Additionally, the Allah-Las show that they don’t fear instrumentals, which is particularly impressive considering the style seems largely relegated to classical musicians these days. At the same time, though, songs like “Ferus Gallery,” “Yemeni Jade” and the bonus track “No Werewolf” (a cover of The Frantics’ 1960s song “Werewolf”) frustratingly perpetuate indistinguishable transitions between songs. Elsewhere there are strange moments of twang on Worship The Sun. Jangly guitars burst from “Nothing to Hide,” album closer “Better Than Mine” and bonus track “Every Girl” (which, itself, seems like the antithesis of Allah-Las’s “Don’t You Forget It”). At their best, the Allah-Las still conjure the tones and attitudes of bygone decades, but at its weakest, Worship The Sun degenerates to mono-tempo drone.