California

The Volcanics release Stompin' Garage

The Volcanics - Stompin' Garage

The Volcanics aren't the most celebrated band on the Double Crown roster, but they're one of the most solid. While the mailman hasn't brought this one to my doorstep just yet, from Double Crown's descriptions this sounds like more of the same. More of the same means killer trad instrumentals that hit the sweet spot of testosterone and melodic sensibility sitting next to some great upbeat garage tracks. Not to mention I've always thought the production quality on their records hits just the right crispness and tone to get that great energy of the 60's classics.

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Shark in the Water release Every Week is Shark Week

Shark in the Water - Every Week is Shark Week

Since my mind is on the Gremmy Awards lately, this is easily categorized into the category, with distorted metal guitar tone 100% of the time, growling basslines, and a generally mean temperment -- in a fun way of course. I think the best marriage of these surf and metal sounds come through in "Unagi Tsunami", which is possibly the silliest of the bunch which chants of "Uga Chaka" underneath the scuzz. 

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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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Pounded by the Surf releases No Waves

Pounded by Surf - No Waves

Earlier this year we got a surprise album dropped on us by of Hot Snakes (backed by the also excellent The Blind Shake). Pounded by the Surf aren't as outward about their alter-ego, but there was enough here to be suspicious: their album is exceptionally well-produced, came out of nowhere and they're touring both the US and Europe...

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The Illumignarly release Apocalypse Gnar

The Illumignarly- Apocalypse Gnar

The Illumignarly come out swinging with the quick and powerful track "Beeriodic Table of Sharks" but as you get a little further into that you hear a moment of spaciness that hints at the couple of prog elements that come out in "Neo Rubicon" and "Cannibal Castration" (a vocal track). "Tall Can" and "Dude I Like Your Shredder" are 100% surf rock shredding material. This is a pretty impressive EP with a lot of ideas in it and a whole lot of oomph.

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Par Avion release Surfing the Friendly Skies

Par Avion - Surfing the Friendly Skies

Par Avion clearly love the surf sound, but don't let it get in the way when they have other ideas. "Unchained Melody" has a great Duane Eddy meets modern-surf twang to it and sets the tone well for the rest of the album. But then the song "Par Avion" has a less motivated, more post-punk melancholy to it. Then the next song features a cello, the next one has a great orchestral spaghetti western sound to it, but then there's a pretty straightforward cover of Misirlou.

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Davie Allan and the Arrows release 50th Anniversary and King of the Fuzz Guitar

Davie Allan 50th Anniversary

It's been 50 years since Apache '65, the first LP by the Arrows, and Davie Allan has released TWO albums to commemorate this. He explained this in the I did with him the other day: he was working on the 50th Anniversary album and was worried that the people at Curb records were taking too long to clear the rights to those songs, so he went ahead and started working on King of the Fuzz.

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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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The Surfaris release Hurley Sessions

The Surfaris - Hurley Sessions

From what I can tell this is the first release under the Surfaris name since 2005's Wipe Out (which seems to be a completely different version from the 60's version we all know). The lineup here includes original guitarist Bob Berryhill. Haven't been able to dig up information on any other members, but this doesn't include Jim Fuller.

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Bombón releases A Date with Bombón EP

Bombón - A Date with Bombón

You gotta be careful looking for surf rock on Burger Records. They're home to an awful lot of the bands that are muddying up the term. You know, garage bands with a lot of reverb on the vocals, stuff derived from Wavves, Black Lips etc. And right from the first track one might think that's the case here, with summery girl-group-garage sing-a-long vocals, but I urge you to stay! The next track is "Swedish Fish", a rippin' surf instro with punchy, splashy percussion free of pretention and all about fun.

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