Sometimes I worry that I lean a little too hard into the sound production quality of an album vs songwriting, but for a band with such apparent surf fanaticism as The Kilaueas it really does feel like it’s the missing piece. The guitar sounds so much bigger and deeper than their previous LP Waki Waki Woo, the reverb so wet and loud enough to fit their stage act.
The song-writing is in modern surf vein and they mostly stick to that -- no token spaghetti western, etc. Their playfulness is apparent though, not only in the titles (they should invent a grammy for song titles and “Why Do Fools Fall In Lava” should win) but rather than “here’s a riff, let’s stretch it out to a song” they seem to take a basic framework of a song and try to morph it in as many ways as they can manage.
A few highlights. “K-17” is an early indicator of how much more dynamic their sound is on this record, really feels like it creates a room of sound. “Minipli on Fire” is a fun luau sorta track. “The Dark Wave Smells” is a great Bambi Molesters homage that really wields that guitar sound like a club. “Getaway Board” is just a solidly written trad-style surf song, could easily be mistaken for a Satan’s Pilgrims track.
It’s very listenable the whole way through and never really drags. If you’re already a Kilaueas fan I think you’ll love this. If they never did much for you, I’d give them another shot with this one.
At the moment this is vinyl and digital only, but Double Crown will be releasing on CD soon.