Good vibrations. This Beach Boys song title would probably suffise to describe Allah-Las performance at Miami Marketta on Sunday, May 14th, 2016. Taking the good waves from the Gold Coast – and its inhabitants, who had come in large numbers -, the 4 Californian dudes did a very intense gig.
Allah-Las, in the middle of times
Often set by experts halfway between The Beatles and The Beach Boys, Allah-Las obviously have a lot in common with both bands. On the one hand, 4 young dudes definitely ‘cool’, 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drumkit, and usually exchanging their instruments (3 of them alternatively acted as lead singers that night). On the other hand, foundations surf rock alike with harmonies and a lot of guitar reverbs.
One great example of what Allah-Las can do is certainly their hit Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind) from their 1st eponymous LP released in 2012. While playing that tune at Miami Marketta, Miles Michaud had to re-tune his guitar, without ending the song. In 1 minute it was done. Quickie.
Surf revival with reverbs
The reverbs on both guitars are what define ‘the Allah-Las sound‘. Thanks to Premier Guitar, we were able to track down those two vintage guitars. A 1959 Gibson ES-125T for Miles Michaud (lead singer on the majority of songs) and a ’60s Gibson Firebird (alternating with a mid-’60s Murph Squire 12-string, looking like a Fender Jaguar) for Pedrum Siadatian (2nd lead singer).
Basically, Miles’ guitar sound is more high-pitched, very surfin’ styled, whereas Pedrum’s one has a stronger attack. And both work so well in perfect harmony. Is that it? Have we discovered the secret of Allah-Las sound?
What is also interesting is how Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian have built up their routine. When one is singing lead, he’s playing rhythmic guitar and the other one is lead guitar and backing vocals. On No Voodoo – one of our favourite Allah-Las songs from their first album – Miles is singing lead and Pedrum takes on the main riff and the solo part on the guitar.
Unforgettable riffs for this (too) short gig
Allah-Las’ first LP was in the spotlight at Miami Marketta. All tunes on it have a definite strong identity, with very marking riffs… Sometimes sounding a lot alike if we’re being honest! With great pieces – a step above the others – such as Sandy and Catamaran.
Another significant moment of this very short show – only 1 hour 10 minutes! – was when the band played Could Be You from their latest LP Calico Review (our review in French). The shift in the sounding was obvious, especially when comparing them with the tunes from 2012’s Allah-Las. Even less modern and more western-styled, if it was even possible!
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What future for Allah-Las?
On their journey to success, Allah-Las took more shortcuts than breaks. But for the encore, Allah-Las played Long Journey (still from their first LP!) as a symbol. With the drummer’s face appearing for the first time! Yes, he sang. As well as shaking maracas. He looked like Ringo Starr finally getting a chance to sing a song for The Beatles!
More seriously, this showed how complementary and creative those 4 cool lads all are. This promises great things for Allah-Las. Are they gonna completely change their style for the next album? Our guess is that they will prefer a softer shift… Towards a brighter future?