Reviews

Post date: 02/27/2017 - 12:26
The Splashdowns - Rocket Tales

Splashdown is when a spacecraft hits the water upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere. When astronauts go from space to surf.  It's a great name for the splashdowns, who mix a semi-trad surf sound with a sense of cosmic wonder and adventure. Think  rather than Man... or Astro-man?, with a non-aggressive, thoughtful surf approach and not...Read more

Post date: 02/19/2017 - 08:50
Amphibian Man - Babylon

I , so now it's time to see what he has in store for us in the new year.

Thematically, I didn't notice anything particularly cohesive in this release. It's a bit more patient and perhaps a bit more quick-picky than straight-up melodic, but he still manages to hit a...Read more

Post date: 02/18/2017 - 08:57
The Bahareebas - Tell Me a Story About

In their 4th LP, The Bahareebas have found a sweet spot that I expect should resonate with just about any modern-trad surf fan. Despite a pretty no-frills surf sound, The Bahareebas manage to play with a sense of purpose and emotion in every moment of the melody. It's bright and sunny and energetic, but also with a sense of danger -- while not being vicious. They take cues from many of trad surf's memorable leitmotifs without feeling like rip-offs, just channeling the spirit of the music. I...Read more

Post date: 02/16/2017 - 07:25
Genki Genki Panic - Litanies of Surf

Genki Genki Panic is back after their transformative Spooky Fingers EP. While Spooky Fingers felt kind kind of like a soundtrack, Litanies of Surf is a rock record, dialing back the atmospherics, cranking up the volume and the speed, and keeping the anything-goes approach to their song-writing. Less spooky, but bigger and meaner. Less Danny Elfman, more Man... or Astro-Man and sometimes even...Read more

Post date: 02/15/2017 - 08:00
Los Coronados - Sundaze EP

With their last release, Los Coronados had a story that the grandsons of the original musicians were releasing their fathers surf band master tapes from 1965. Fun story, but I didn't buy it. Now that they're Tupac'ing some new material, I'm especially not buying it. But here's the thing: this is the only Taiwanese surf band I know of. That's plenty enough of a story!

Anyway, three tracks here, strictly trad surf, a little on the laid-back side. Give it a listen....Read more

Post date: 02/15/2017 - 07:53
Dr Phobic and the Phobic Tones - MELOPHOBIA

Lots to worry about here. Dr Phobic serves up 10 instro-metal tracks with titles that end with the phobia suffix.

This metal guitar and dirty bass sound probably won't work for everybody, but my favorite here is "Ichthyophobia". Though after looking up some of the song titles, my favorite might go to "Pithecophobia", the fear of apes.

Digital download is free, but you can also order a CD through their bandcamp page if you'd like.

...Read more

Post date: 02/01/2017 - 08:00
Los Misterios - El Instronauta

This is the second EP from Los Misterios, both of them with some pretty striking album art. By their own description, "4 gunshots that, if heard by Trump, he'd use them to invade some new planet." Their sound is generally pretty trad other than some very prominent (and welcome) organ. I think that element gets especially interesting on "Sexy Safari" but all of these are pretty fun.

Up for download or CD purchase on bandcamp.

...Read more

Post date: 02/01/2017 - 07:51
The Guitaraculas - Preachers of the Night

Man, what a time to be alive. The Messer Chups (or in this case a side project of the Messer Chups) can release an album and you immediately have a chance to listen to it. You used to have to dig around for the one site that seemed to be holding them at the time. That said, if you're looking for a physical copy, that still may be the case as doesn't have it listed yet....Read more

Post date: 01/12/2017 - 16:29
Phatlynx - Huevosaurus b/w Ham Biscuit

More greasy fun from North Carolina's premiere Link Wray/Food tribute band. Huevosaurus may read as a Link-styled song, but it's a pretty direct cover of a song by Huevos Rancheros. Ham Biscuit is a goofy instrumental with a few vocals that belongs on those Frolic Diner compilations. As you'd expect from their LP , it's...Read more

Post date: 01/04/2017 - 07:27
Paquetá - Surfadelic Dreams

Brazil's Paquetá have been around for a less than a year but have already played over 50 shows and released several demos and live tracks. This is the first studio release, a better look at their sound. All five tracks are gritty, howling instrumental surf punk with psychedelic tinges. They hardly ever slow it down, full-on energy and power from start to finish.

Give it a listen!

...Read more

Post date: 11/08/2016 - 07:09
The Beyonderers - Estimate of the Situation

I only just recently found The Beyonderers (note the extra "er") and their excellent debut "Fourth Wave" and the new one is full of the same slammin' Astro-man energy. Unfortunately it appears they've lost their keyboardist, which made for a great electric howl on the last one that set them further apart from Man... or Astro-man? but the truth is this is surf: a lot of bands will sound similar and a lot of us are happy to eat up whatever sounds familiar, especially in the case of MOAM. Count...Read more

Post date: 11/06/2016 - 19:34
Amphibian Man - Desert Songs

4 months of silence seems like an eternity from , but he's back with a Spaghetti Western angle. He's learning how to slow down a bit, not just in terms on his release schedule, but on songs like the very steady "Ghost Town" and "Skeleton Pass". That said, there's plenty of action in here on songs like "Train Robbery".  I'd actually...Read more

Post date: 11/03/2016 - 08:03
Marshall and the Martins - Bundamba

The latest from Marshall and the Martins keeps it pretty trad surf - despite banjo in the second track and apparently some bagpipes somewhere. Though that second track "Weston" is a good one, the more it sticks to a trad surf sound the more I found myself enjoying the songs. "Bundamba", "Mulliwippi" and "Maxwin" all did a great job of tapping into a 60's locked-in mindset and surf mood, while the beach party numbers like "Steley" and "Melton" have that squeaky clean sound that a bedroom/...Read more

Post date: 10/18/2016 - 07:59
Tsunamibots - The Crushing

After 2 EPs with similarly crude album art, this very persistanly robot supremacist band has put out their first LP. While one might expect clean sinewave tones from a robot band, Tsunamibots actually have a pretty trashy tone with occasional sound effects thrown in. Song structures are simple, easy to bounce along to and despite their forceful message, they still know how to have fun. Take the lighthearted beach party number "Robotic Meltdown", which even cuts loose enough to include...Read more

Post date: 10/09/2016 - 19:26
Operation: Diamond Bikini - Chief, Game Over!

The first LP from Operation: Diamond Bikini follows the example laid forth by their : generally fast and forceful surf with dash of quirky sense of humor thrown in. That humor usually takes the form of sound clips, which compliment the music well and don't go overboard. Guitar tone is generally pretty clear and staccato and have the...Read more

Post date: 10/09/2016 - 18:15
The Catamounts - St Nuomatic

This is the second LP from Winnipeg's The Catamounts. Though there's plenty here for the guitar nuts among us, there's an equal helping of organ - not the fun, mod go-go kind, but more of a crazed, mysterious, atmospheric kind. So now it's sounding like a horror surf record, and yeah it could probably sit well on your halloween playlist, but they're more about intrigue and mystery - hence covers of The Sicilian Clan and You Only Live Twice. It's not too deep in the fog...Read more

Post date: 10/05/2016 - 08:11
The Insanitizers - Guitar Fun

The Insanitizers were nice enough to send me Guitar Fun well in advance of its release date and said something about having time to take it all in. They weren't kidding. There's 23 tracks here with musical styling spanning straight ahead surf, Joe Meekish instrumentals, rautalanka, a harpsichord tune (I realize it's probably not actually a harpsichord), and... man, I don't know what. True to their name, it does sometimes feel like you're going slightly insane. This is partly because of the...Read more

Post date: 10/05/2016 - 07:43
Team Void - Robot Killer

Team Void ain't as mean as they look. Sure, their guitars often have that deep horror tone to them, but packaged along with that Lucha mask is a set of vibrant mariachi horns. I mean, give the opener "I Am Six" a listen and all you'll hear is "Party!". It's got a lot going on, and kinda reminds me of Los Plantronics. Now don't get me wrong, there's plenty of horror surf stuff in here, like on the title track "Robot Killer", but I think secretly monsters like to have a good time same as...Read more

Post date: 09/27/2016 - 07:37
The Beyonders - The Beyonders

Not to be confused with the Beyonderers, these Houstonians play sax-heavy instros with a wacked-out exploratory attitude. The opening track "Woo-loo-loo" sets the example well, with some great twangy surf guitar at a medium tempo, that delves into a pretty unhinged sax solo. They're never all that heavy, but sway between dark and mysterious to fonky on "kyu-jyu-jyu" to plain ol' nutso on "Bananas con Platano". If you dug the latest release from Beninghove's Hangmen you're in...Read more

Post date: 09/17/2016 - 07:35
Blackball Bandits - Confrontations on the Extraterrestrial Highway

Blackball Bandits have previously released two demos that I had were . They had a decent reason though: they were incomplete, with parts overdubbed or...Read more

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