Concert Preview: Allah-Las, Tomorrow’s Tulips, New Mexico and Barbarian

Courtesy of RVCA

Four surf-rock bands hit the Casbah on Feb. 23

By Eden Frost

Allah-Las, Tomorrow’s Tulips, New Mexico, Barbarian
The Casbah
February 23

Don’t miss the Allah-Las, Tomorrow’s Tulips, New Mexico and Barbarian all at The Casbah this Saturday, February 23.

This Saturday night at The Casbah some of the surf scene’s raddest bands are hitting the circuit. The Allah-Las, Tomorrow’s Tulips, New Mexico and Barbarian make up the set list for Saturday’s tunes and this isn’t a show you will want to miss. Surf-punk and psychedelic sounds permeate the room wherever these bands play. You can feel the music, like you’re riding a wave.

The Allah-Las have a complete throwback sound.  Their music, recording aesthetic and music videos are all reminiscent of the beatnik era. From a very 60s fitted suits and rock and roll vibe in their song “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)” to mellow surf scenes present throughout their tracks, the Allah-Las are a beacon of musical hope and groovy tunes in a time of over produced and synthesized music. The Los Angeles band came together in 2008 after three of its four members met working at the legendary Amoeba records. The crew knew what it took to achieve a real sounds and didn’t cut any corners on the production of their record released on vinyl. After all, what they say is true…everything does sound better on vinyl. The band’s EP released in April of last year, Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind) kills it with four addicting tracks you can listen to over and over again. (“Catamaran”, “Long Journey”, “Sacred Sands” and “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)”) And their self-titled album “Allah-Lahs” released this past September adds 8 new songs to become addicted to. You can hear a likeness to The Byrds coming through on the instrumentals on some tracks such as “Vis-A-Vis” off their debut album. While I pick up a bit of The Zombies with their style, this band is 100% unique, doing things the right way and working hard to achieve their sound of sorrowful, hypnotic and body swaying music.

The surfer element is heavy in Tomorrow’s Tulips with professional surfers Alex Knost (vocals and guitar) and Ford Archbold (bassist) fronting the band. Heads of long blonde locks shake like crazy when the band isn’t sporting some of their more festive headgear of sunshine and smile cut outs, and watching them play makes you feel like you’ve left land for a little while. They, too, have a sound from the past, a little Velvet Underground meets a surf-heavy garage punk. Their female vocalist Christina Kee definitely carries that Nico-esque vibe and it is rad to see a girl hold her own in a band of guys, dominating on the drums as well. Their two albums, Tired released in 2010 and Eternally Teenage capture the bands live sound, but seeing them play is half the fun of experiencing the band.

San Diego bands New Mexico and Barbarian keep with the surf-vibes and raw, garage-band sounds of the night while adding a bit more of a punk element. Barbarian recently released their debut 7” vinyl, Daze of Youth, with Manimal Vinyl. They describe their sound as “coldwave” which mixes varying levels of punk and pop with garage rock overtones. Both sides of this album showcase a different sound to the band. The raw instrumentals are met by lead singer Andrew Mills’ alarming vocals. New Mexico is described in a similar vein as Barbarian with this garage band punk dominating their sound.

All four bands compliment each other perfectly and build off of each other’s sounds. Saturday’s crowd in guaranteed to have a great time, submersed in the culture and sounds of some of the sweetest surf and garage bands SoCal has to offer.

For more information on the band’s and getting tickets check out these links.