In some quarters the new album by the Allah-Lahs has been lauded. The album sounds like it was locked away in a vault around 1967, only to be discovered 45 years later when the late bass player’s third wife found a safe-deposit key amongst his belongings and decided to find out what was hidden therein. In fact, so true is the Allah-Lahs album to a certain Nuggets-y, 60s-era garagey sound that it more resembles an album by a contemporary covers band than an original offering. Probably their nearest equivalent are The Explorers Club, who don’t so much ape the sound of The Beach Boys in the mid-1960s as rearrange a track on Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) and pass it off as their own. So, why is Jessica Pratt any different? If Rip Van Winkle had taken a nap in June 1970 and only woken up in the autumn of 2012, then he might have been forgiven for thinking that the music scene was still populated by fey female vocalists gently strumming on acoustic guitars. Well, while there’s a certain throwback element to Jessica Pratt’s debut album, it’s also full of really good songs and, more importantly, some pretty unique phrasing. The problem with the Allah-Lahs is that they sound exactly like we would expect an undiscovered band from the late 1960s to sound. By contrast, even though Jessica Pratt is working within a genre that was popular at the time, she doesn’t sound like anyone who was singing then. This is no fairy-inhabited folk album. The vocals are too strong. This is no dirge-like collection of really intense singer-songwriter material either. Each song moves along at a pretty pace. And within any given song, there are plenty of chord changes to keep the interest up. And Jessica Pratt’s voice caresses each one equally well. Sure, there’s a certain slightly self-conscious lo-fi quality at times. But, for now, apparent late 60s throwback Jessica Pratt has produced a resolutely modern album.