The first track of Sunken City gives you a good cue of the album to follow: atmospheric lead-in giving a sense of setting and narrative, some vocals reinforcing that, then breaking into unmistakable surf guitar.
But yes, vocals. I usually focus on entirely instrumental bands but I think this is a pretty palettable approach for a surf fan, with a vocal style that sits somewhere between Boss Martians and Man or Astro-man. It’s hard to describe, but the vocal stylings sounded very 90’s revival to me, especially on the more raucous “Henchmen” (with lyrics about the life of a Henchman). I’m not saying these songs would be better without the vocals, but it would be a perfectly enjoyable instro album too.
And there are instro songs. The first half of the album has a strong sense of atmosphere and a dark reverby mood with some Astro-influence, but they let the sense of narrative cool down a lil bit towards the end with a punchy version of “Casbah” and the bouncy “Big Texas Surf”.
All in all a pretty strong record, well-produced and keeping it interesting throughout. You can buy it here.