france

X-Ray Vision - Panique Au Biblos

X-Ray Vision - Panique Au Biblos

X-Ray Vision as a technology is frequently thought of as gadgetry for means of espionage, and going by that definition it’s a surprisingly good fit for this band, blending spy tones with Astro-Man zip-zoop.

Central to this is the keyboards, swapping duty between swirling hammond-esque sounds and more futuristic electronic sounds and a few in-between. Sometimes in a fittingly spy manner, sometimes reminding me of their fellow frenchmen Les Tigres du Futur with a spastic approach.

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The Irradiates release Lost Transmissions from the Remote Outpost

The Irradiates - Lost Transmissions from the Remote Outpost

It's been 4 years since The Irradiates' last LP Revenge of the Plants and though we've had some Arno de Cea & the Clockwork Wizards albums to keep us happy in the meantime, it might be a little disheartening to see that this is a collection of rarities, unreleased tracks and live cuts if you were expecting an album.

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The Wave Chargers release Strike Again! EP

For whatever reason, I skipped over The Wave Chargers first EP, but now that they've struck again I'm paying attention. They play crashing, fast and loud trad surf with a lo-fi production. Definitely getting a little bit of an Apemen vibe from it and they namedrop Les Cavaliers and The Wangs, which I think are appropriate too. Though all tracks are great, the cover of Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Crossfire" really nailed it.

Digital download via bandcamp or 7" vinyl. Would love an LP from these guys.

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Arno de Cea & the Clockwork Wizards release Flash Freezing the Sun

Arno de Cea & the Clockwork Wizards - Flash Freezing the Sun

With no releases from Arno de Cea in either the Clockwork Wizards or the Irradiates, 2016 felt kinda... safe (though did his best). He's back though, with another album of impossibly huge guitars and apocalyptic panic.

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The Chemist and the Avevities releases Sounds from Chemistry Town #4

The Chemist and the Avevities - Sounds from Chemistry Town #4

This is the 4th release from The Chemist and even if you missed everything up to this point, the label should give you a good idea of what you're getting: loud, fast, power surf. Not just a trashy take on the 60's sound but instrumentals with oomph and size, definitely of the Man or Astro-man family. "Farm Nightmare" and "Kallocaine" change things up with the drumming and "escape from cerclon" has some theremin freakout. If you're like me, you need to have a regular intake of this sort of stuff, and this certainly does the trick.

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The Grave Diggers release Grave Diggers EP

The Grave Robbers - Grave Diggers EP

The Grave Diggers play generally aggressive punk-influenced surf with tinges of horror surf. Those tinges are especially noticeable in the back-to-back Ghastly Ones covers. But this is a pretty fun record, they definitely know how to keep up a great energy and pump out a lot of sound for a threesome. Ontop of nice guitarism, they have a bunch of small little tweaks, sound effects, and quirks that add another level of interestingness. This isn't exactly the flashiest cover art -- with something a little more noticeable I think they'd deserve to get noticed.

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The Wave Chargers release The Wave Chargers EP

The Wave Chargers - Wave Chargers EP

This is the debut release from the Wave Chargers, a fearsome foursome from France that play some pumpin' trad surf. For their first release they sound amazingly tight, with some killer interplay between the two very capable guitarists, rousing drumming, and stirring bass. They can really stir up some great energy and with memorable melodies as well. My favorites are a toss-up between "La Revanche du Kuromaku" and "Flip-Side", but they're all solid. Recording is a bit lo-fi, which I'm not sure helps them here, but it's a great EP nonetheless.

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The Lucianos release Think Twice Before Cheating / Dark Angelo 7"

The Lucianos - Think Twice Before Cheating / Dark Angelo 7"

The Lucianos are comprised of members of big-time sychobilly bands Demented are Go and The Astro-Zombies (side note: the Astro-Zombies have a few instrumentals tucked away in their records that are pretty cool!). This is their first release and it's being put out by Killjoy Records as a vinyl 7" and cassette. They classify themselves as powersurf and indeed "Think Twice Before Cheating" is relentlessly fast and builds to a powerful crescendo.

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Les Tigres du Futur release Collection Illusions Sonores Vol 2

Les Tigres du Futur -  Collection Illusions Sonores Vol 2

Les Tigres du Futur have a sound unto themselves, yet familiar enough for the impact to be immediate. As much as this is a guitar-centric site, they mostly serve as the crunchy, grinding infantry force. Leading the charge is the whirlwind keyboard, which deftly straddles both psych/prog mystery and adventure and a hip-shaking mod beat. If that doesn't sound very surf, it's because it's not; I don't hear a shred of Dick Dale, Ventures or even Shadows in this -- MAYBE Davie Allan or Link Wray but only because I'm looking for it. It's instrumental rock & roll though, no arguing it.

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Les Surfsonics release self-titled LP

Les Surfsonics - Les Surfsonics

Les Surfsonics play with a little distortion here and there but a traditional mindset. Most of these are covers, but played with gusto and a good sense of fun. I'm kind of surprised that they keep a steady pace for most of them, as their fastest song "Tidal Wave" works really well! It's their first recording, and it's a solid foundation for where they might go from here.

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