I haven't done one of these in a while! It's another Bandcamp Friday, where Bandcamp skips its cut of sales and passes them to the artists. It's been a packed April, and full of lesser-known names to boot, so it's a good time for me to get back to sharing my finds. Here's some standout releases that I noticed, and I probably forgot some too. This is only April and early May releases, even though there was some great stuff in March too, and I they're super short since I wrote this whole thing starting at like 9pm Thursday.
The Surfrajettes - Roller Fink
Finally a debut LP from one of the biggest bands to hit the surf scene in the last decade. . Instant review: I like it a lot.
The Atomicons - Flavor Waves
Not many surf groups out of Arkansas that I know of, and thankfully this one is good! Loud, fast and loose stuff. "Gondola" is a standout.
The Whys - A Day on Mercury
Considering their last release was in 2006 I had assumed this band was not around anymore. Somehow 15 years later they seem to have a little more edge to them? I also really appreciate that even my digital copy had fun little doodles included.
Son de Huesos - Vibraciones Malignas
Great spooky cumbia artist with plenty of surf covers. They've been releasing multiple LPs per year, which has me right on the edge of "can't get enough" and "can't keep up".
The Unseen Hand - s/t
This one may not be for everybody. It has a very dull, hollow, mega-reverbed tone to it that feels like some ancient gong-like instrument more than a guitar, but I think there's a hypnotic quality to it. Sorta Sir Richard Bishop vibes. I also like their Western track "Guns of Jarama". It's only a buck too.
The Squadron Leaders - Space Tomb E.P.
The heavy reverb on everything including the sax make this sound huge and overall pretty thrilling. Great EP and I'd love to hear an LP from them.
Eskimo Lunettes - Second (EP)
Sitting somewhere between surf and krautrock, their first EP impressed me a lot and the second one has been fun and fresh as well.
The Rondells - Exotic Sounds from the Night Trips
Sleazy instrumentals generally with a sax playing lead, sometimes with an exotic flair.
Silver Sand Surfers - s/t
A great couple of surf songs with a little bit of a warm country twang as you might expect from Nashville. Really enjoyed this one.
The Strings Aflame - Pyre
The first LP from this Mexican group hits differently than their debut EP does for me, and in a good way. Moreso than feeling aggressive or loud, there's an intensely pressurized feeling to this album. It's weighty and focused. I'd jump to the stompin' track "Factotum".
King Beez - Games EP
This band has been trying things lately. Last year they had a 17-minute single, this year the distortion takes a backseat to a more lighthearted though still quite moody multi-instrumental approach. Definitely an eyebrow-raiser.
Shorty's Swingin Coconuts - Mai Tai in Hi-Fi EP
A 50/50 split of rousing surf and swaying steel guitar exotica. Comprised of veterans of several Americana groups, and that professional competence shows.
Los Abismos - Back Alley Surfers
Featuring members of Les Vice Barons, this is an interesting one. Some really catchy tunes, with some prominent very synthy keys that to be honest will either make or break your experience.
The Inquisitors - Oculus Sinister
Hey, another group from Toronto! These guys can punch and they can swing, with a good bit of range despite a pretty straightforward non-reverbed sound.
The Breakers - Strange Shores: Old Singles & New Hits
As the title describes, a collection of unreleased and lesser-released tracks. Some of these have some pretty unexpected twists, even for a band that doesn't play it very safe.
Secret Agent - Moros En La Costa
A compilation of singles released over the past year and change from this Mexican group with great production and progressive compositions. Some good variety on here.
Jason Beers - Hanging with Queequeg
This popped up at 11pm on Thursday while I was typing this, so I may be jumping the gun, but the heavy clunking step of this and post-punk surf guitar remind me of the instrumentals from Gallon Drunk.
You're still here? It's pretty hard to call this surf, but I found this to be a delightful compilation of oddball cumbia with some spooky guitar and some quirky electronics.