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The A-Men - Let's Fly to Mars

The A-Men - Let's Fly to Mars

Let's Fly to Mars is a high-profile, long-term, cross-continental collaboration between Jeremy DeHart known primarily from The Aqualads, El Firetone from El Ray, Dr. Boris  from Messer Chups, and Dane Carter from The Madeira. Jeremy lays out the story in detail in that I would highly recommend reading.

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Black Valley Moon - The Baleful Sounds of...

Black Valley Moon - The Baleful Sounds of...

The Sharawaji Records roster has been growing steadily and adding more high-profile releases. They recently grabbed some attention for the upcoming Chewbacca’s record, but meanwhile this little gem snuck under the radar. Black Valley Moon features the guitarist from Epitaph punk band Down By Law, but they do a great job of carving out a unique surf that feels accomplished and comfortable within the genre.

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Amphibian Man - Shapes (Side A)

Amphibian Man - Shapes (Side A)

3 releases in less than a year, perhaps Amphibian Man is getting back to his previous furious pace. Though went back to slapping some reverb on that guitar, these 7 songs are about as dry and punk-sounding as they've ever been, to the point where I'd consider this instro-punk instead of instro-surf.

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Death Wave - Mare Incognitum

Death Wave - Mare Incognitum

Despite hearing their first EP, something about this led me to believe that it would be fast-n-nasty metal-tinged surf, but Mare Incognitum actually adopts a pretty normal modern surf sound at a normal pace, just dwelling a bit more on the darker side. That's no complaint though, each of these is punchy and fun, almost always danceable, and with a good sense of when to go big, when to sound a little nastier, and generally how to stay interesting and fun.

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Galactic Gold - Digital Vape

Galactic Gold - Digital Vape

I've often seen talk of drum machines in surf but it usually seems like a solution for bedroom composing and the inability to form a band. I gotta say that most of the music I've heard with them is... eh. But there are some bands that have fused surf with synth and drum machines very well, such as earlier Messer Chups and Matorralman. Galactic Gold sounds like neither and pulls it off well.

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The Flying Faders - Tectonic Shifts

The Flying Faders - Tectonic Shifts

Chad Shivers (organizer of the Southern Surf Stomp, plays in The Mystery Men?, KBK, plenty of others bands) champions The Flying Faders’ debut album No Sweat as one of the best surf albums of the past 10 years. I like it, but it never quite grabbed me enough. I couldn’t tell you why, and I can’t tell you why their new LP seems to fix whatever it was. Tectonic Shifts is a great album.

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The New Shaker Sex Addicts - We're In This Together EP

The New Shaker Sex Addicts - We're In This Together EP

The over-the-the top party feeling that you get from a band name that seemingly promises you both sex and (presumably) butt-shaking feels kind of ironically imposed when you actually listen to this album. It’s not sad or particularly listless or anything, it’s totally danceable, but there’s a sour and strange feeling to this. My first thought was a sort of vaporwave via surf, but I think something closer would be a Twin Peaks comparison. Not so much directly to Angelo Badalamenti, but the feel of the show itself.

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Moms I'd Like to Surf - Beach Control to Major Knob

Moms I'd Like to Surf - Beach Control to Major Knob

The surf band with perhaps the most uncomfortable name since Bambi Molesters have finally released their first full-length, and that mindset of pushing out of the comfort zone is all over this thing. However, this isn’t achieved by merely adding a theremin or doing a spaghetti western song; it’s with unexpected syncopation, different guitar tones, subtle effects and instrumentation. Not only is the band trying new things, but the listener is challenged as well. And most importantly, it works.

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