Arguably, surf was the first type of rock & roll to really focus on a feeling of power and aggression, playing songs faster and louder. As punk and metal rolled around, a lot of bands absorbed those influences into surf to really ramp up the ferocity. For the sake of categorization and rhyming, I've called these bands "rad" instro groups.
The definition of surf gets less clear all the time, but thankfully there are still some groups trying to anchor it down by explicitly reaching for the 60's. That sound is timeless, and though I love hearing how people take surf to new dimensions, it absoluteyl doesn't need to be taken anywhere. Here are some groups that made great records by sticking to the tried-and-true sound.Honorable Mentions
I love that surf has its own look and feel, and it certainly helps me find new surf records. What's interesting about this year is that I didn't notice as many bands adhering to that look and feel, and part of that was a surprising no-show from some of the heavyweights of this genre, such as Shawn Dickinson and Fred Lammers. Here's what stuck out to me.
This has been an interesting year for surf releases -- it’s been almost devoid of LPs from “established” surf groups, and so most of the “big” releases of 2019 would only be seen as such if you’ve been paying close attention over the last few years. I don’t think this is an indication of any sort of changing of the guard, I think it just happened to be that way, but it has provided an interesting opportunity for a lot of lesser-known groups to poke their heads up and be seen.
mike barbwires & the blue ocean six - The Surge (Camel Rock b/w The Surge)
jon & the nightriders - Dark Eyes (moving target)
The Space Agency - surfer's guitar (galactic guitars)
Estereofonikos - Sexpionaje (Desde Córdoba)
The Doltones - Return to the Jupiter (Dance or Die)
The Jaguars - Jaguar (45)
The Hollywood Tornadoes - The Gremmie Part 1 (45)
Ronnie Kae - Swingin' Drums (45)
The Time Keepers - 3 Minutes Heavy (45)
The Titans - Reveille Rock (45)
paquetá - Nunca mais de novo (Tropical Noir)
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