vinyl

Man or Astroman release Live at Third Man Records

Man or Astroman - Live at Third Man Records

In 2016 as part of Record Store Day festivities at Third Man Records, Man or Astroman played a live set recording directly to acetate... which sounds pretty appropriate for both the band and the label. That performance is available on vinyl now--and from what I've heard it's vinyl only, no digital download.

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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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Culebra & Thee Evolution Surf School release Uncontrollable Waves 7"

Culebra & Thee Evolution Surf School - Uncontrollable Waves 7"

Some straight trad stuff from Culebra here with a focus on melody over racket. Though guitar is at the forefront, the little touches of sax and organ are a nice sub-surface flourish. Though adequate, I think the sound production here isn't doing these songs justice -- there are some nice, memorable tunes here but they don't present themselves well on first listen. My favorite is the opener "Tres Palmeras"

You can buy it on 7" vinyl or digital download from Bandcamp.

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Los Tiki Phantoms release Aventuras En Celuloide

Los Tiki Phantoms - Aventuras En Celuloide

Los Tiki Phantoms are back with another album of lighthearted, carefree, pop-garage surf instrumentals. Though there are a few more effects, brass instruments, and spaghetti western sounds, it still has that bright and sunny Los Tiki Phantoms feel. They don't change the formula much, but I think of them as dependable rather than sounding stale.

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The Bahareebas release Tell Me a Story About

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.

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Phatlynx release Huevosaurus b/w Ham Biscuit 7"

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 simple fun on both tracks. Cheapo download or you can order a 7" on green vinyl.

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The Catamounts release St Nuomatic

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 -- there's a cover of The Wedge that isn't too far off the map.

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Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited releases Music from the 6th Floor

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - Music from the 6th Floor

For nearly 20 years Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited have been putting out records that are rock solid and sound like nobody else. This is and while this is no exception to that rule, it is slightly different. The space age sound is toned down a bit, and in its place I hear a bit more of an Italian soundtrack vibe and often a lot more electronic, often in a bedroomy nostalgic way.

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