Bandcamp Fridays are still a thing. Today your purchases go directly to the band, none of it to bandcamp (some of it to paypal, but what can ya do). What this also means is "oh crap Hunter, you better write about some of the new stuff".
Here are a few standouts since the last Bandcamp Friday -- which was actually in December, so we're going back a bit. These are about as brief as reviews get because I've got a lot of ground to cover, and they're in no particular order.
Jaguar Y Las Sabanas - Etacion Polar
Wow, it's been a while for these guys. They had a great mini-LP back in 2012, and now a 10" officially relaesed on February 15th. A bit more punk-influenced this time around.
The Frogenstein - Surf Clusters
This starts out at a punk tempo, and with a very live sorta sound, but they cool off a bit later in the record and that's fun too, particularly on the swaying stomp of "Twango".
Cheap Violent Cats - Pandemonium in our Quirky Town
This is the current group of Rapido T Lusso, who was in the band Surf Creatures (though I think the real high point is his EP under his own name). As is consistently the case with him, he's got a great, loud guitar sound, though these songs aren't necessarily at hyperdrive speed. Don't be scared off by the lyrics in the first track, there's barely any aside from that.
Flower Smellers - Flower Smellers 3-4
Released only a month after their strong debut EP, I think this is even better. Heavier, weirder, and capping off with a great cover.
Os Brutus - Primitivo & Civilizado
The previous output from this band was pretty straightforward hard-hitting surf, but they're mixing it up a bit here. Some unconventional guitar tones, but deliberate and interesting, sometimes hailing more from a noise-rock direction but clearly operating within surf parameters. This is a unique record, and though I like it I think I'll come to like it more after repeated listens.
The Young Barons - Hella California
Great to finally see a record from these guys! I've seen videos of them playing surf music since before they had growth spurts, and though it's not quite as adorable in their high school years, they still bring a youthful energy to these songs. Most of them are covers, but they're good choices played with some edge. I also love that "Anna Vienna" by Impala is in the mix, fantastic track that deserves to be recognized.
The Wet Ones! - The Monster of Jungle Island
I enjoyed the trashy debut from these guys, and I like this follow-up too! Their tone is no longer quite as raw, but it's heavier and packs quite a wallop, kind of reminding me of The Delstroyers.
Boss Cuts - Psycho Nite A-Go-Go EP
A great sense of chaos from this band, but serving a fun, party vibe.
Toro Jones - II
The debut LP from these guys was a sleeper hit, with a twangy bravado, some nasty fuzz and good variety. This delivers in the same way, though not not with quite the same amount of fuzz and maybe more of a Western lean.
Terremotor - Veneno de Cana
One of the members of Terremotor is Duda Victor of Dirty Fuse, and though this record is often fast and with a punk energy, you certainly see moments of Dirty Fuse in here, with unexpected string instrumentation on tracks like "Godless" and "Espinhela Caida".
Sinister Twist - Someone from the Past
Guitars can take a break, this is a sax record. I actually think their own description is perfect: "Slinky, sexy, often grindy, noir infused instrumentals". Surprisingly hard to find that sound.
The Tarantinos - Durango Twist/El Guapo
Straight-ahead surf with a great howl and bite to the sound. I absolutely love "Durango Twist" and "El Guapo" is strong too. Label tells me that they may do a vinyl release at some point, but nothing at the moment.
Mr. Blonde Says - In Red
Jazzy instrumentals with a tinge of surf, kinda like Big Lazy. Certainly more on the jazz side, but might appeal to people that like a noir sound.
Nuclear Juarez - Exil
Though they've had a pretty consistent stream of releases from the start, this is the first full LP from these Texans. They're a hard group to descrbe, not really aiming for a standard surf sound, a little more toxified and maybe a little desolate.
Los Cowabungas - Bahía Volcánica
Another group that's been around for a bit but has finally released an LP. Trad surf with plenty of reverb and drip, and a get-up-and-go attitude.
Gangrena Surf - Ciudad El Encierro (Rarezas, lives & b sides)
Gangrena Surf's LP is a fantastic trashy and brutal surf record. This live compiilation of b-sides, live tracks and rarities has a bunch of electronic tracks that probably don't excite in the same way, but also plenty of just as nasty stuff as their LP. And it's cheap enough that that's worth it to me.
Dr. Tritón - Suite Poseidon
After dropping some great singles in 2020, these guys put out a nice mini-LP. These are modern surf tunes with a sense of adventure, story and a bit of a nice and warm feel.
Sparkling Duets - Cocktail
Trashy trad surf is kind of the calling card of the Sting Magnetic label out of New Zealand (home of the Mysterious Tape Man). These are mostly covers of well known surf tunes sounding raw as hell with a little bit of tape distortion warping them up some. Mummies fans give it a listen. And don't miss this compilation from the label.
The Don Kings - Delinquent Mayhem
I could pretty much copy and paste the above description for the Sparkling Duets here. This was apparently recorded a decade ago, a little more of a tough attitude than the Sparkling Duets, and a few more vocals.
Albert Ginés y sus Oceánicos - En La Isla Del Fin Del Mundo
New stuff from Albert Gines! This has a lot in the exotic direction, so it's a lot more mysterious and subdued, while still finding room to be playful and fun.