Post date: 03/02/2017 - 07:09
Los Tiki Phantoms are back with another album of lighthearted, carefree, pop-garage surf instrumentals. Though there are a few more effects, brass instruments, and spaghetti western sounds, it still has that bright and sunny Los Tiki Phantoms feel. They don't change the formula much, but I think of them as dependable rather than sounding stale.
Took me a while to find the...Read more
Post date: 03/02/2017 - 06:54
So close to being able to say "Release the Kraken". Anyway, Z and the K's are a trad surf band out of Copenhagen playing 100% covers, including some from the 90's and onwards. I was surprised at how naturally they could fit songs by The Atlantics, The Ghastly Ones and Man or Astro-man right next to more standardized surf standards like Pipeline and Squad Car. Speaking of cohesiveness, the second half of the album was live but a nice enough recording that the talking before and after the...Read more
Post date: 03/01/2017 - 07:35
Every once in a while retro electronic music collides with retro analog rock & roll and we get a chiptune surf record.
The ones I've heard don't usually do covers of classic instro tunes, which does make this especially interesting. However, it's not full chiptune, as there's clearly some guitar in there (am I seriously complaining about guitar use?). I think "Cross Ties" and "Reveille Rock" are the best use of this sound, while the latter two amount to basically...Read more
Post date: 02/27/2017 - 12:26
Splashdown is when a spacecraft hits the water upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere. When astronauts go from space to surf. It's a great name for the splashdowns, who mix a semi-trad surf sound with a sense of cosmic wonder and adventure. Think rather than Man... or Astro-man?, with a non-aggressive, thoughtful surf approach and not...Read more
Post date: 02/19/2017 - 08:50
I , so now it's time to see what he has in store for us in the new year.
Thematically, I didn't notice anything particularly cohesive in this release. It's a bit more patient and perhaps a bit more quick-picky than straight-up melodic, but he still manages to hit a...Read more
Post date: 02/18/2017 - 08:57
In their 4th LP, The Bahareebas have found a sweet spot that I expect should resonate with just about any modern-trad surf fan. Despite a pretty no-frills surf sound, The Bahareebas manage to play with a sense of purpose and emotion in every moment of the melody. It's bright and sunny and energetic, but also with a sense of danger -- while not being vicious. They take cues from many of trad surf's memorable leitmotifs without feeling like rip-offs, just channeling the spirit of the music. I...Read more
Post date: 02/16/2017 - 07:25
Genki Genki Panic is back after their transformative Spooky Fingers EP. While Spooky Fingers felt kind kind of like a soundtrack, Litanies of Surf is a rock record, dialing back the atmospherics, cranking up the volume and the speed, and keeping the anything-goes approach to their song-writing. Less spooky, but bigger and meaner. Less Danny Elfman, more Man... or Astro-Man and sometimes even...Read more
Post date: 02/15/2017 - 08:00
With their last release, Los Coronados had a story that the grandsons of the original musicians were releasing their fathers surf band master tapes from 1965. Fun story, but I didn't buy it. Now that they're Tupac'ing some new material, I'm especially not buying it. But here's the thing: this is the only Taiwanese surf band I know of. That's plenty enough of a story!
Anyway, three tracks here, strictly trad surf, a little on the laid-back side. Give it a listen....Read more
Post date: 02/15/2017 - 07:53
Lots to worry about here. Dr Phobic serves up 10 instro-metal tracks with titles that end with the phobia suffix.
This metal guitar and dirty bass sound probably won't work for everybody, but my favorite here is "Ichthyophobia". Though after looking up some of the song titles, my favorite might go to "Pithecophobia", the fear of apes.
Digital download is free, but you can also order a CD through their bandcamp page if you'd like.
Post date: 02/01/2017 - 08:00
This is the second EP from Los Misterios, both of them with some pretty striking album art. By their own description, "4 gunshots that, if heard by Trump, he'd use them to invade some new planet." Their sound is generally pretty trad other than some very prominent (and welcome) organ. I think that element gets especially interesting on "Sexy Safari" but all of these are pretty fun.
Up for download or CD purchase on bandcamp.
Post date: 02/01/2017 - 07:51
Man, what a time to be alive. The Messer Chups (or in this case a side project of the Messer Chups) can release an album and you immediately have a chance to listen to it. You used to have to dig around for the one site that seemed to be holding them at the time. That said, if you're looking for a physical copy, that still may be the case as doesn't have it listed yet....Read more
Post date: 01/12/2017 - 16:29
More greasy fun from North Carolina's premiere Link Wray/Food tribute band. Huevosaurus may read as a Link-styled song, but it's a pretty direct cover of a song by Huevos Rancheros. Ham Biscuit is a goofy instrumental with a few vocals that belongs on those Frolic Diner compilations. As you'd expect from their LP , it's...Read more
Post date: 01/04/2017 - 07:27
Brazil's Paquetá have been around for a less than a year but have already played over 50 shows and released several demos and live tracks. This is the first studio release, a better look at their sound. All five tracks are gritty, howling instrumental surf punk with psychedelic tinges. They hardly ever slow it down, full-on energy and power from start to finish.
Give it a listen!
Post date: 11/08/2016 - 07:09
I only just recently found The Beyonderers (note the extra "er") and their excellent debut "Fourth Wave" and the new one is full of the same slammin' Astro-man energy. Unfortunately it appears they've lost their keyboardist, which made for a great electric howl on the last one that set them further apart from Man... or Astro-man? but the truth is this is surf: a lot of bands will sound similar and a lot of us are happy to eat up whatever sounds familiar, especially in the case of MOAM. Count...Read more
Post date: 11/06/2016 - 19:34
4 months of silence seems like an eternity from , but he's back with a Spaghetti Western angle. He's learning how to slow down a bit, not just in terms on his release schedule, but on songs like the very steady "Ghost Town" and "Skeleton Pass". That said, there's plenty of action in here on songs like "Train Robbery". I'd actually...Read more
Post date: 11/03/2016 - 08:03
The latest from Marshall and the Martins keeps it pretty trad surf - despite banjo in the second track and apparently some bagpipes somewhere. Though that second track "Weston" is a good one, the more it sticks to a trad surf sound the more I found myself enjoying the songs. "Bundamba", "Mulliwippi" and "Maxwin" all did a great job of tapping into a 60's locked-in mindset and surf mood, while the beach party numbers like "Steley" and "Melton" have that squeaky clean sound that a bedroom/...Read more
Post date: 10/18/2016 - 07:59
After 2 EPs with similarly crude album art, this very persistanly robot supremacist band has put out their first LP. While one might expect clean sinewave tones from a robot band, Tsunamibots actually have a pretty trashy tone with occasional sound effects thrown in. Song structures are simple, easy to bounce along to and despite their forceful message, they still know how to have fun. Take the lighthearted beach party number "Robotic Meltdown", which even cuts loose enough to include...Read more
Post date: 10/09/2016 - 19:26
The first LP from Operation: Diamond Bikini follows the example laid forth by their : generally fast and forceful surf with dash of quirky sense of humor thrown in. That humor usually takes the form of sound clips, which compliment the music well and don't go overboard. Guitar tone is generally pretty clear and staccato and have the...Read more
Post date: 10/09/2016 - 18:15
This is the second LP from Winnipeg's The Catamounts. Though there's plenty here for the guitar nuts among us, there's an equal helping of organ - not the fun, mod go-go kind, but more of a crazed, mysterious, atmospheric kind. So now it's sounding like a horror surf record, and yeah it could probably sit well on your halloween playlist, but they're more about intrigue and mystery - hence covers of The Sicilian Clan and You Only Live Twice. It's not too deep in the fog...Read more
Post date: 10/05/2016 - 08:11
The Insanitizers were nice enough to send me Guitar Fun well in advance of its release date and said something about having time to take it all in. They weren't kidding. There's 23 tracks here with musical styling spanning straight ahead surf, Joe Meekish instrumentals, rautalanka, a harpsichord tune (I realize it's probably not actually a harpsichord), and... man, I don't know what. True to their name, it does sometimes feel like you're going slightly insane. This is partly because of the...Read more