Urban Surf Kings release Penguin or Robot? EP

Urban Surf Kings - Penguin or Robot?

Personally, I choose robot. I love robots. Urban Surf Kings have been churning out releases like clockwork for over 15 years now, including side projects from Rev. Hank, but I believe this one has been in the works for a good while (their starts January 1st 2013). The format here is a little different: 4-song 7" vinyl that includes a download code for those 4 songs plus another 4. So 8 songs total, but only 4 on digital media. You can grab it .

Here's a preview of one of the songs off the EP

And here's a pretty damn thorough description of it that Rev Hank posted in the

Urban Surf Kings: Penguin or Robot?

Reverb Ranch presents the latest release from Canada's Urban Surf Kings. Penguin or Robot? is a 4 song 45rpm slab of wax with an additional 4 songs available as digital down loads. That's 8 surfy songs in total. Recorded by Brad Conrad, and mastered by J. LaPointe, the 7 inch is the band's 12th release, and is available at fine record stores everywhere.

Penguin or Robot?
The ep's title track was inspired by cover artist Ed Beals and his confusion with the Japanese metro system. Penguin or Robot? Such a simple, yet terrifying question.

Agent 6K6
There is a spy in the House of Vacuum tubes. Beware, take care...

Quick Draw Norman
Norman is the fastest gun in the Wild West. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Last Chance for Clams
Inspired by a battle cry on the way out of the town of Parrsboro.

Surf Monkey
This is what you get when you mix an English dish with The Revels.

Snow Day
The triumphant cry of school dazed kids in the Northern Hemisphere.

Trans Ural Express
All aboard!

Quick Draw Norman (unabridged)
This is what happens when to tape is left rolling, and the band is recording in a sweat box in the middle of the summer.

The ep began in early 2013 with recording the digital tracks. These were done fairly quickly at Old Asylum Road by the band. The next step was to find time for the band to get together with Brad Conrad to record the 4 tunes that would be released on vinyl. With everybody's busy schedule ( day jobs, gigging, family, etc.) we were finally able to find a free Saturday in July.

Recording the vinyl portion of Penguin or Robot? took about 4 hours in an overheated, uninsulated Carriage House in Halifax, NS on the warmest day of the summer. As sweat poured off the wall, Brad Conrad captured each song in a couple of takes. The process was fast and overheated. The biggest problem was keeping the guitar in tune for Quick Draw Norman in the heat. The take you hear is the one where the guitar held its tuning.

Then things slowed down, way down... The studio went into unexpected reno mode, as did Rev's kitchen, and people called to book USK at an alarming rate (which is a good thing). Life got in the way. Once mixing resumed it was discovered that the guitar track for Last Chance for Clams was wonky. No problem, the guitar was cut at Old Asylum Road and sent off to Brad. Mastering was done by J. LaPointe at Archive Mastering, and the masters were ready to send off to United in Nashville in early June.

Record Store Day can be a blessing and a curse. Most of the record plants become so backlogged getting ready for the big day that pressing can take an excruciating long time. The wonderful Jeff Senn from Nashville's Crazy Aces (a fab instro combo) was kind enough to pick up the test pressings and send them to us when they were finally ready at the end of July. He saved USK the unfathomable $175 shipping fee from United for 3 tests ( heck the final product was cheaper, and that was for 500 records). The tests were distorted...not good. At the same time, we were notified that our rep from United was no longer working there, and our 7 inch was caught up in the understaffed project shuffle. After many calls and emails, and a lot of time, our 2nd test pressings arrived, and were much better (September). Approval to finished project was only a few weeks.

In the mean time the company we were going to deal with for covers stopped responding to emails! Luckily for us we found a great company out of Toronto called Samo Media. They were competitively priced, professional, easy to contact, and delivered a great product!

So there you have it folks. What started as a quick project in early 2013 is finally here (Oct, 2014). There are some things you just can't plan for. We are proud of our 12th release and hope you enjoy it!

Gear notes

Penguin or Robot
Gtr - Eastwood Airline Map (Lollar single coils)
Amp - 1960s Brownface Fender Vibrasonic, Fender reissue Reverb Tank
Bass - Music Man Stingray (5 String)
Drums - Rogers
Keys - Farfisa Combo

Agent 6K6
Gtr - Fender Strat Plus (1990s)
Amp - unknown Class A , Reverb Tank
Bass - Music Man Stingray
Drums - Rogers

Quick Draw Norman
Gtr - Eastwood Airline Map, Yamaha Acoustic
Amp - Garnet Combo , Reverb Tank
Bass - Music Man Stingray
Drums - Rogers

Last Chance for Clams
Gtr - Eastwood Airline Map
Amp - Garnet Revolution II (late 1970s)
Bass - Music Man Stingray
Drums - Rogers

Trans Ural Express
Gtr - Fender Strat Plus
Amp - Logic amp modelling
Bass - Danelectro Longhorn (1990s Korean reissue)
Drums - Yamaha Studio

Surf Monkey
Gtr - Eastwood Airline Map
Amp - Kalamazoo Model 2 (1960s), Reverb Tank
Bass - Danelectro Longhorn
Drums - Yamaha Studio

Snow Day
Gtr - Eastwood Airline Map
Amp - Logic amp modelling
Bass - Danelectro Longhorn
Drums - Yamaha Studio

Track Listing

Side 1 Penguin or Robot
Agent 6K6

Side 2 Quick Draw Norman
Last Chance for Clams

Digital Surf Monkey
Snow Day
Trans Ural Express
Quick Draw Norman (unabridged)

Catalogue Number: RR006

Label: Reverb Ranch

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