This music isn’t about commercial success, so just about everybody’s in it for fun. So it feels kind of wrong to judge a band by how much fun it sounds like they’re having, but damn if these guys don’t sound like they’re having a little more fun than the rest.
The Head Henchmen are a pretty traditional surf group and you’ll hear a lot of very familiar licks, but they have a great sense of why they’re used. The percussion is a huge feature here too, with the drummer sounding like they’re dancing at the kit.
It’s not party time the whole way. I love the glimmering guitar of “Wem Wam Wow” -- not a ballad, but one of those songs that just sound like sunshine.
As a New Orleanian I got a huge kick out of “Cissy Surf”, a Meters classic with its lazy beat pounded mercilessly into a strict four-on-the-floor. They took away everything danceable about the original and made it just as danceable.
They wrap it up with “Surfin’ Jazz”, which still sounds more surf than jazz and keeps its wild attitude, but a few jazz-like thrown in and it all slowly gets a bit less cohesive as it goes. I love it, more jazz like this please.
It’s a pretty lo-fi sound, but the right stuff comes through. This album is a blast, grab it on bandcamp or wait a sec and CDs will be out via Sharawaji Records.