“We were all music fans before we were musicians,” says Matthew Correia, drummer of Los Angeles quartet the Allah-Las. “We’ve spent a lot of time listening to music, and understanding what works for us and what doesn’t. Quentin Tarantino didn’t go to film school, and we didn’t go to music school.” You could go to music school to understand theory and philosophy and even technique, but you wouldn’t be able to capture the experience, especially if rock ‘n’ roll was your trade. For that, you would take a more ad hoc approach to education, and for three of the members of the Allah-Las, that involved working together at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, the centrepiece of modern music retail in Los Angeles.

Bonding over the slower, moodier tracks on the fringe of the music they loved, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian, bassist Spencer Dunham, and Correia grew their band from behind the counter to the basements nearby back in 2008. Eventually folding in guitarist Miles Michaud, the Allah-Las took their time to find a sound, write original material, and ultimately add their own contributions to the canon from which they drew their primary inspiration. Following two well-received albums (2012’s self-titled debut and 2014’s Worship the Sun), the Allah-Las have found a new home with Mexican Summer. Their third full length Calico Review summarizes and grows upon the lessons learned by the group thus far, and marks their most subtle and diverse work to date.