release

The Concussions release Newaygo Sound Machine

The Concussions - Newaygo Sound Machine

The Concussions hit an amazing middle ground between being absolutely crammed with hooks and being understated. What I find is that this combination makes for an absurd amount of repeat spins in the car, especially as background music. Now, I hate talking about instro as background music, but when everybody finds themselves whistling it when they get out, I think that's OK. The Concussions are able to grab that simpler form of riff-based song-writing that seems left in the 60s and they do it effortlessly.

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The Intoxicators release Easter Eggs on Halloween

The Intoxicators - Eeaster Eggs on Halloween

There's not a whole lot of surf happening on the Florida panhandle (musically or otherwise) but The Intoxicators are a fine representative. Easter Eggs on Halloween has plenty of variety, certainly not locked to a tempo or mood, but it never drags, always seems ready to go. And when it's going, they can really rip. This album is front-loaded with the heavy songs: "Frozen Cossacks", "Sake Shaker" and "Easter Eggs on Halloween" are as savage as The Intoxicators have ever been, and the production quality is perfect-- the bass adding a bit more roar to the lead Wray-like guitar tone.

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The Kilaueas and Surfer Joe release Play the Astronauts and More

The Kilaueas and Surfer Joe -  Play the Astronauts and More

Here's a fun project. This is a split LP between Surfer Joe and the Kilaueas, each taking a side on the vinyl version. Most of the tracks on here are covers of The Astronauts, and in a pretty faithful manner (no psychedelic Baja). The few originals are in the style of the Astronauts. For Surfer Joe, that means some deep-ass reverb -- that's the stuff! For the Kilaueas they added another guitarist to mimic the Astronauts' 3-guitar setup.

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Tikiyaki 5-0 release Introducing the Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0 EP

Introducing the Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0

Tikiyaki 5-0 are a smaller, more portable and guitar-focused version of The Tikiyaki Orchestra. While Tikiyaki Orchestra had no problem finding fans in the surf crowd, this is more surf than exotica, even when they're covering Arthur Lyman's "Taboo", which manages to finish with a rousing crescendo -- definitely a favorite on this EP. That said, "Song of Delilah" and Les Baxter's "Enchanted Sea" keep a bit more of an exotica mood. For the surf nuts, there's a cover of Zorba and the Greeks' "Shockwave" and a killer original "Supernova" that is 100% pedal-to-the-metal surf.

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Crazy Aces release Garageland EP

Crazy Aces - Garageland

Crazy Aces have made a name in the surf world, but I think of them as more of a Ventures-styled band -- more twangy than drippy and focused primarily on melody. If you've enjoyed their previous records, I think you'll be all over "Scorpions", "Rudy's Revenge" and "Chop and Channel". It's hard to pick a favorite among them. Then they try their hand at spaghetti western with "Trail of the Mystery Men" which is much more cinematic sounding than I expect from them. They trade off a steady drum beat for for acoustic strumming, strings and background vocals.

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Tidal Baby release UFO Surf Club

Tidal Baby - UFO Surf Club

This is the first LP from Tidal Baby (formerly known as Grimm Futures) seemingly out of Canada? Their label is, and I swear I hear a bit of a Huevos Rancheros twang to them, so that's my guess. 7 instrumentals and one vocal track with a great loud-as-hell guitar sound complimented well by the bass. They crank out a lot of noise for a 3-piece. This is recorded live and I do think that holds them back a bit, but the songs and the sound are solid and it's definitely worth the free download from bandcamp. Looking forward to hearing more from them.

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Martin Cilia releases Sleepwalk EP

Martin Cilia - Sleepwalk

The latest from Australia's surf guitar maestro. You've got 5 tracks on this one, four originals and of course the cover of the classic Sleepwalk. As can be expected from Cilia, production is slick as all get-out with reverbed electric guitar floating on for miles on Sleepwalk. I've only heard the snippets below of the originals, but it looks like they've got a solid breadth and some fresh ideas.

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Here's a bunch of surf releases that I haven't gotten around to telling you about

Though I really do try to stay on top of all major surf releases as they come out, there are plenty that slip by my notice and some I plum forget to talk about. So I'll do them all at once because that's somehow less daunting to me than doing them individually. If I'm missing anything let me know, I'm definitely going to reference this when I build my list of surf releases from 2016.

Said the Ripper - The Hanging at Barbed Wire (Released in May)

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Robotron releases Robotron Versus The Invincible and Indestructible Reptilicus

Robotron - Robotron Versus The Invincible and Indestructible Reptilicus

Robotron is a project by Bjørn Hovland featuring 7 tracks of monstrous fuzzed out tough surf. While a lot of these projects where one member writes and plays many parts tend to sound stripped down, this gives no indication based on the music itself. Partially because this was hardly a bedroom recording: Bjorn hails from Norway, the album was mixed in Brazil and mastered in Seattle!

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