Blackball Bandits

The Cholla releases Link of the Surf Guitar EP

The Cholla - Link of the Surf Guitar

I think cartridge-based video games and surf music have a lot in common, having to impart feeling without the aid of vocals and having to do so with a very limited set of sounds available. Going even further than that, surf often tries to evoke a sense of danger and adventure, which is very familiar territory for video games. The themes that stand out in video games stand out because they're great: you're usually going to hear them on a loop, often for hours, so if you still like them after you've completed the game then that's a feat.

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Gremmy Awards 2018: Best Modern Instro Record

Gremmy Awards 2018: Best Modern Instro Record

Instro music today is a wonderful thing. Whereas the big surge of surf music rode a wave of retro novelty, this music now sits comfortably in obscurity with its creators playing for themselves and their peers, free to let creativity take them wherever it may. Many new surf bands are moored much closer to modern surf groups than vintage, and that's a great thing. We're building, spreading, getting weirder and more interesting with each year.

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Surfguitar101 Convention 2018

Blackball Bandits release The Lost Mission

Blackball Bandits - The Lost Mission

It’s been great watching Blackball Bandits find their way from a couple of bandcamp so-called-demos to a proud members of the Double Crown roster (and featured on the soundtrack to a ). They’ve done a great job of retrofitting retro surf feel and attitude to more modern surf song structures.

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Blackball Bandits release Confrontations on the Extraterrestrial Highway

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 drum machines used. Well now they're a full band and have rerecorded their songs onto this EP.

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Blackball Bandits release Aqua Profunda EP

Blackball Bandits - Aqua Profunda EP

Just two months ago Blackball Bandits released their , which I thought was too good to be called a demo. They've also called this one a demo, and at this point they're really pushing it. This is a little bit different than the last one: not as rough-and-tumble, less punk and less spaghetti western.

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Blackball Bandits release Demo

Blackball Bandits - Demo

Should I post demos as releases? Yes, because I'm digging this. Blackball Bandits clearly have a Western angle to them evidenced in their (great) medley of Ennio Morricone classics, but it also evokes the west in that wide-open-road way on "Azteca Verano", AND in the Roswell, New Mexico way on their opening track. It's got a great mean edge to it that sometimes reminds me of Speedball Jr, though maybe that's just name association. A lot of disparate sounds coming together naturally and sensibly and, most importantly, enjoyably.

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