EPs! Cyclist Conspiracy, The Cops, Les Panches Surfers, Three-Way Vol. 2

Four EPs

Cyclist Conspiracy - El Beso de la Muerte

Definitely some ambition in this group. Two of the tracks have a middle-eastern sorta vibe and can be a little more experimental and less rock&roll minded than your average surf group. The tracks that aren't in the East are firmly in the West! The third track (sort of a vocal track) is a goofy approach to a Spaghetti Western sound that really captures the vibe -- I love it. This is their third release and their others seem a little less surf, more psychedelic, but just as pleasing. This one is a free download.

The Cops - Crime Wave

I'm worried this band already spent their best pun on their debut EP, but it's good stuff. The first two are loud and fighty -- these are simple riffs at a mid-tempo but the power gets across and it's enjoyable. The third track is simply titled "spaghetti western" and takes the same sound and drops some acoustic guitar on top. I think it's their strongest track, with a good sense of desperation and and rising adventure, coming to a good crescendo. Also a free download!

Les Panches Surfers - Sounds of Takeshi

Despite the clear Eleki suggestion in the album title and songs, I don't really hear that strong of an eleki twang here, mostly just a modern not-too-drippy surf suond. That's fine, because it's a good EP with a good full sound. They switch up sounds a decent amount, keeping each track pretty fresh.

Deep Eddy Records - Three-Way Vol. 2

I guess this is a compilation, but I kind of think of it as three EPs bundled together. Unfortunately, Urban Surf Kings' 3 tracks were all on their recent LP Astro-Surf A-Go-Go and Beware of Blast contributed with three of the four tracks of their debut EP. So if you're looking for more of those two groups, I wouldn't exactly rush towards this release, though sometimes hearing band's songs out of the context of the rest of the work can help you hear it in a different way -- at least that's how I felt here.

However, The Nematoads have only sprinkled a few new songs here and there since their 2009 release Spy Car Mechanic, and they're sporting a bit of a new sound, with a sort of middle eastern flavor. It's not a total transformation, they still sound pretty Nematoady, but I think it's a cool direction for them -- definitely a little weirder and psychedelic and each of them running over 4 minutes. It's not exactly as rousing and enchanting as Phantom Four, but these tracks were the highlight of this record to me.

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