Bandcamp Friday Roundup: August 2023

The Strings Aflame, Totali Catastrofica

Oh no. It's another Bandcamp Friday and I still have so much stuff to write about Surfguitar101 Festival. But there have also been so many releases I want to talk about! So as usual, I'm going to challenge myself to be as brief as possible while still saying something substantive. Buy these records!

Supertubos - The Fourth Drive

A record full of adventure and invention! Progressive and psychedelic tinges to a modern surf sound, but mostly just really creative arrangements. Some really fun bass playing too! One of the most devilish versions of "Experiments in Terror" you'll hear. I have just about all of their previous stuff, but I need to go back and give them a deeper listen to see if they've always been this good.

Agent Octopus - From Atlantis with Love

For a four-song EP there's some ambition in here! "Silver Surfer: Redemption" is super dramatic, with a cello solo and a tremendous crescendo at the end. Progressive thinking while refusing to stray too far from the light of surf music.

The Fuzillis - Grind a Go Go Vol. 2

A week after I joked on my show that I doubted we'd see a Volume Two, it materialized on Bandcamp. And it's immaculate. I don't know of a band that does frat-rock/tittyshaker style music as well as these guys. It's not all instrumental, but the vocals tracks are primitive and fun, while the instrumentals are deceivingly savage. Somebody please bring them to the US.

Worth noting, they put a bunch of 7"s on their bandcamp at the same time, many with material not on either LP.


Two members of The Gasolines have a house fire and Leopoldo of Reverb Brasil tosses together a mammoth 60-track compilation with striking album art in a few days to support them. Also, if you're not a Gasolines fan already, .

Man or Astro-man - Peel Sessions 1993 and Radio Scotland 1994

Technically not released yet, but you'll probably want to hop on that preorder train: two 7"s with vintage MOAM radio material. Despite the prestige of Peel Sessions, I prefer the sound of the Radio Scotland version. But what the heck, I ordered both.

Lords of Atlantis - S/T

Debut LP from a surf supergroup featuring Ivan and Dane from The Madeira, Jeremy from The Aqualads and The Manakooras, and Jonpaul from Insect Surfers and everything. With 50% of the band being in The Madeira, it's hard not to try to hear them in this, but it is a distinctly different project. LoA feels more hefty and poised than The Madeira's frantic squall, but also a bit more open-ended and dreamy. I actually found that it was the percussion that stuck out most to me, not only providing propulsive force when needed but also providing an airy intrigue, such as on tracks like The Bastion.

The Strings Aflame - Totali Catastrofica

This Mexican group made a nice splash with last year's LP Pyre, and wasted no time with a follow-up, releasing this to coincide with their trip to Surfer Joe Festival. Great traditional sounding instrumentation and spot-on guitar playing, but with some more evolved songwriting capabilities and some strong mood when called upon. Love that album art too!

Buzzy Frets - The Return of Buzzy Frets

Maybe there have been Buzzy Frets releases since the 1999 self-titled I have, but if not then man, that really is a return. Solid traditional-styled surf, with the originals particularly standing out to me.

Charif Megarbane - Marzipan

A bit of a stretch outside the surf world, but likely to delight fans of exotic twanginess, Charif's brand of "Lebrary" (Lebanese Library) music brings the likes of Omar Khorshid to mind. Cool stuff!

Shorty's Swingin Coconuts - Surf Shack Shindig

The differentiating factor of this group is their proclivity towards steel guitar, and that's certainly fun when it emerges, but most of the time this is just a solid traditional styled surf record.

Surf You Next Tuesday 3

Noah from Otitis pumps a lot of work into these compilations, and this one features a lot of songs that I believe were previously unreleased from some flashy surf artists like Arno De Cea, The Routes, The Del-Vipers, Fuzziyama Surfers, Genki Genki Panic, and Les Robots. I'm surprised that Noah's not doing artwork on this one himself, but I'm also amused at how seamlessly Joseph Harmon's unmistakable work slips right in next to the rest.

Springbo - Book of Duderonomy

I'm going to sneak this in here because it's just so ridiculous that I'd like more people to hear it. Book of Duderonomy is a mostly vocal surf record (there are instrumentals but they're not particularly exceptional) that attempts to position itself between christian rock and beach bum lifestyle. It's extremely blasphemous, stupid, obnoxious, and has a car-wreck magnetism to it. If it doesn't make somebody out there mad, I'll be very disappointed.

I think that'll wrap it up for now! Leave a comment if I missed something.


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