Bandcamp may have changed hands again recently, but it looks like they're still giving up their portion of sales on the first Friday of every month, so "all" of your money goes to the artists (so long as you count Paypal as an artist). And as semi-usual, I'll draw some focus to recent surf releases worth a look. October is always a big month for surf releases as bands try to cram stuff in before Halloween, but that hasn't started yet, so this is mostly un-spooky. I also didn't get a chance to do one of these last month, so it's reaching back a little further.
First, let's link to great stuff that I've already reviewed.
though I'm not the Ventures one qualifies strictly as a review. Bandcamp link here
William J. Le Petomane - Cocktails for One
Also known as WJLP, at this point we're looking at ten years of great surf music from this guy. Fun, quirky stuff with impeccable arrangement and exotic flair, and of course excellent melodies. He's been a mainstay in my Gremmy Awards, even winning a category once, and this is just as essential as anything else he's done.
Talismán - Grandes Misterios
Since their debut EP in 2021, Talismán have shed the lo-fi VHS sound while still staying magnetically strange. Though their songs are simplistic riffage, they nailed the mood with their strange arrangement of keys, bad tuning, and effects. While not explicitly a Halloween record, it'll certainly work!
Los TIki Phantoms - Y El Enigma Del Tiempo
I liked this band long before they started playing shows on my side of the globe, but their high-energy, audience engaging live show is getting them a lot more attention, and it's very deserved. Their sound isn't strict surf, bordering on pop-punk, but its bright attitude suits their shows well. I actually found this album really picked up on the second half.
The Stingers - No Stopping!!
If you liked that Fuzillis record in my August round-up you'd might as well pony-up for this one too. More hip-twistin' goodness with great sax and occasional vocals that you might not even skip over. Unlike The Fuzillis, they occasionally crank up the reverb and throw down a great surf track like "On the Move".
The NineteenElevenS - The NineteenElevenS
Maybe it's the weird name of this band that made me keenly aware of it as guitarist Jason Dombrowski posted about his band online. His eagerness gave a feeling of watching the band form, and I have a feeling this is what Jason was aiming for. They even self-titled it! Great aggression, but this time with a fuller sound to match. MOAM is the obvious reference point here, always fine by me.
Dome la Muerte E.X.P. - El Santo
Dome la Muerte EXP was one of the big surprises of Surfer Joe 2019 for me. He's apparentely a legend in Italian garage punk circles for his work in Not Moving and others, but admittedly it was the first I'd heard of him. His 2017 LP Lazy Summer Day is great, with some excellent instrumentals too, but he went full Spaghetti Western on this one. Part of what makes a good Spaghetti Western record is a feeling of expression, rather than just following the sonic blueprint of the genre, and I definitely get that from this one.
The Rhino Chasers - Here Come the Rhino Chasers EP
Great debut from this group, though it's comprised of members of two other surf groups so they know what they're doing. Traditional sound that focuses on fun. Some vocal tracks but the attitude is right there.
Os Brutus - Arquivos 2013-2023
Os Brutus are one of the best and most creative groups in Brazil right now (and there are a lot of groups in Brazil!). This is a small compilation of stuff they've released on other compilations etc, but they're just as great as their album cuts. Just listen to that first track and you'll see.
Los Vampiros del Mar - Songs of Blood, Death and Romance
I have to make these roundups before Bandcamp Friday, and I'm willing to wager that the horror surf stuff will pour in throughout Friday. But these guys struck early with a great LP full of tunes that howl and creep. They only had one EP before this released just a few months ago, and I think this is a pretty nice introduction.
Mark Malibu & the Wasagas - Haunted Hotrod Beach Party
On a previous Bandcamp Friday roundup I mentioned The Wasagas' Hellbent for Speed EP as some of their best material, and other recent EPs have been of similar quality. Well, don't buy them. Not only are they all on here, but to make things extra fun they've added a goofball narrative to string them all together. It's fun!
Antisocial Spaghetti Club - La Muerte del Surf Vol. 1
I have no idea what's happening with this band's name or even the cover art, I just know it's a really solid surf record. Apparently a solo project, there's actually not a whole lot of Spaghetti Western sound here, but rather a pretty wide range of different surf styles with excellent production.
Messer Chups - Blood and Black Lace EP
Messer Chups releases are difficult to navigate, with songs reappearing from record to record, multiple compilations etc. This one, as far as I can tell, is all new. Even "Black Saddle", which did appear on Church of Reverb, is a much different recording. This EP has a surprisingly natural sound, with the reverb dialed way back. And most notably, trumpet!
The Routes - Reverberation Addict
If something felt off this year, it might have been that The Routes hadn't released anything. Well, all is well, they've followed up last year's Kraftwerk cover album with a Buzzcocks cover album. I previously knew only one instrumental cover of The Buzzcocks, now I've got another fifteen. If you're a buzzcocks fan, get this, duh.
I think that's it for Thursday night! I'm sure Friday morning is a whole other story, but I gotta listen to them first.