Per Mutations has eight members listed. I'm not sure if that's all at once but their sound is diverse enough that I might think so. Surfing in the Phenomenal World has moments of reverby surfy-ness, but less than they suggest, with flashes of shoegaze, spaghetti western, maybe even some Tom Waits... all the while sounding pretty fun and cohesive. Reminds me a bit of The Tomorrowmen's Futourism in its non-pretentious adventurousness. A...Read more
If you've been listening to The Fathoms, you've been playing it safe! Ugh, sorry, I'm pretty sure this band has nothing to do with The Fathoms, these guys are out of Austin, TX playing horror-surf. While mostly comprised of originals, there's some choice covers of Famous Monsters, The Ghastly Ones, and MOAM. The gloomy, creepy guitars get charged up by some surprisingly explosive and eager drumming. If you're a horror-surf fan, point your ears this-a-way....Read more
I had recently been wondering what happened to noisy instrumentalist BRANKO, and after a four-year absense he returns! Not much different since then, 2 noisy weirdo instros. I hope this means there's more to come.Read more
Since my mind is on the Gremmy Awards lately, this is easily categorized into the "Rad" instro category, with distorted metal guitar tone 100% of the time, growling basslines, and a generally mean temperment -- in a fun way of course. I think the best marriage of these surf and metal sounds come through in "Unagi Tsunami", which is...Read more
This debut 7" from the German Quartet Braindead Dogs makes me think: in instrumental music you can attach your music to any kind of imagery. So why not more food rock? This food rock 7" sounds a lot like trad surf with a bright and bouncy sound that I could imagine being pretty fun in a live setting.
I believe this is finding its way to an actual 7" record later, but for now you can grab it on bandcamp.
Though they've been playing shows for a good while now, I believe this is the first release from this Italian trio (with an occasional 4th member joining for the trumpet). They have made it clear on their album and their facebook page that you should not follow the coyote, which I assume means you will fall off a cliff and into the Grand Canyon. I wonder if this is the famous roadrunner-chasing coyote. As for the actual music, trad surf with a sense of humor. A lil' bit of shredding in "...Read more
Noooo! Guys, you're too late to be included in the Best Album Art Gremmy! In any case, the cover art is a pretty good representation of the music inside: it's loud, fast and frantic, but also pretty silly, with some weird noises and instruments thrown into the mixture. The simple word for it is FUN. It's got serious force behind it but it doesn't wield it so seriously. Definitely worth a listen!Read more
I missed the debut album from this Italian quintet, so this took me by surprise. Diabolico Coupe play modern-traditional surf with sax and for the most part stick to the straight-and-narrow surf sound: no spy, Western, etc. That's fine, because they're very good at it. The guitars trade off between each other well enough to the point where I found myself tuning in and out of different guitar parts, listening to different layers of the sound. The sax is great, often adding an extra oomph when...Read more
I enjoyed Les Agamemnonz's debut 10". It had a good trad sound, a lot of very drippy reverb and a somewhat restrained energy that worked out well. They keep that up with Au Revoir, though they expand a bit. "Vulkanizer" (which really masters the thud from the Astronauts' "kuk") and "El Tremblador" are a bit more menacing than I remember from this band, and they pick up a wild west sound on the last three tracks. Tickling one of my favorite spots is "Tre Grazie", a great take on the Peruvian...Read more
Everything that The Tremolo Beer Gut has released so far has been quality from start to finish, and this is no exception. This is a live album, all one take or as their drummer put it to me "All is recorded on the same night and all we recorded ended up on the LP". And it sounds exactly like a live album ought to: crisp, all parts audible, energetic, and with the sound of the room clearly audible. They all sounded pretty faithful to the album versions to me, except with more hootin' and...Read more
B11 have a playful, experimental approach to surf, with an almost jazzy atmosphere to it. The wonky, showy guitar licks remind me of Double Naught Spy Car or even Shadowy Men. They pick up a bit with a more traditional surf song at the end with the title track "Surf My Spy". Give it a listen-see.Read more
This is the debut EP from this powerful Canadian quintet. The Gnarly Ones' aesthetic suggests a metal or punk influence, but this is pretty straight surf, maybe with a mean face on. They've even got a ballad in there with "Pontiac Sunfire", though the rest are loud, pounding, and dangerous. It's very well produced, sounds great when you turn it up, and the saxophone definitelty adds but doesn't overpower.Read more
This one has actually been floating around as a vinyl and CD release for a few months now, but it wasn't clear to me where your average internet-surfin' joe could get it. That answer is now free on bandcamp.
Tales from the Instro Zone is all over the place, with some cool groovers lke "Pullover Tom Pastel", theremin-infused weirdos like "Saturn Safari", fuzz crashers like "Mata Hari", and I don't even know what to call "Tarantella Tarantinesca". From their self-titled...Read more
Los Freneticos' previous LP "El Playa" was a great little surf album with plenty of nice tunes, but I didn't see a hint that they were heading towards something as ambitious as this. The description on their bandcamp page calls this "a lesson that reviews the A to Z of contemporary surf rock sound" (translated) and they certainly do make an effort towards that. I believe Los Freneticos are a quintet, but they frequently stretch out a bit further than that with an extensive cast of guest...Read more
I'm way late on this one, but if you're able to spook out in the pre-Christmas season then I'd suggest you head over this way. The handful of psychobilly vocal tracks suggest that influence over all the tracks, but there's a surprising amount of variety despite keeping a consistent tone. "Cramped" sits somewhere between an obvious Cramps nod and Link Wray, and "L'Hiver" and "The Buzzards Claw" have a similar slow crawl. "Surfing Sasquatch", "Berenice" are more familiar horror surf, while "...Read more
Stories from Shamehill are a three-piece from Amsterdam, and though they've been together since 2012 I believe this is their debut EP. They have a solid modern surf sound, not overdoing the reverb and keeping a good upbeat pace. My favorite is the relentless momentum of "The Cannonball Rum Theme", though it is always nice to have a plain ol' wave-rider like "Toes on the nose, Bros".
It's up on bandcamp, and they do have a CD as well that you can get from...Read more
Just two months ago Blackball Bandits released their debut demo, which I thought was too good to be called a demo. They've also called this one a demo, and at this point they're really pushing it. This is a little bit different than the last one: not as rough-and-tumble, less punk and less spaghetti western. They've tried a bunch of new things...Read more
The Cavaleros are clearly descended from the Link Wray tree of instrumentals, with ragged blown-out guitars and, of course, a Link Wray cover right at the second song - a good one at that. The opening track essentially a cover of the Frantics' Werewolf, and a song that fits their rough attitude well. The real winner here is the one that I believe tro be an original: Chinese Takeaway. When they get to speed the Cavaleros really take off and make a furious racket. These have a ton of energy...Read more
West Samoa Surfer League has two members of the Space Rangers who released an modern classic with "Ready to Take Off". They seem to like to keep it simple: their album art essentially only changed colors, and just like last time we've got 6 songs (two of which are covers). Their sound is pretty trad surf, with some real nice Astronauts drip on rhythm guitar on "Welcome to Malibu" and "Buhne 16 twist". They tend to lean towards a thunderous walk rather than a screaming sprint. If you were a...Read more
The Green Reflectors are a mean and lean twosome out of Nova Scotia. Earlier this year they released another self-titled LP, which definitely had some strong Flat Duo Jets vibes emanating from it: mean guitar and poundin' drums with a lot of teeth and energy. The main thing that has changed here is the recording: they moved out of...Read more