Reviews

Post date: 07/14/2016 - 07:15
Sys Malakian - Drifting With The Tide

So while I've highlighted albums on this stie, I didn't pay much attention to the solo work of that band's guitarist Sys Malakian. Drifting With The Surf leaves the chicha influence behind and sticks with a pretty trad surf sound. There's a good amount of variety, though even on the...Read more

Post date: 07/12/2016 - 07:28
The Mermers - Get Swell Soon

This is the debut EP from this Gainesville foursome. From the beginning I get a strong Ghastly Ones vibe, but as the record progressed I think they started to slip a bit more into their own sound. The organ work on this is a lot of fun, especially on "Party Grave" and "Blood Barrel". The guitar sometimes gives me some early Man or Astro-man flashbacks, but on the whole they don't compare that closely. With long track lengths (for surf) and some distinct mid-song changes, this sometimes plays...Read more

Post date: 07/11/2016 - 07:21
Amphibian Man - Waves EP

Ukraine's most prolific surf musician strikes again! Waves is a more sunny, trad surf approach but with a relentless energy. There's a greater focus on melody, though with oodles of speed and intensity kept in the mix. If you're a fan of 13th Magic Skull, I think this will be right up your alley, but it should appeal to a lot of surf fans in general.

If you missed it, I peeled back the curtain on Amphibian Man a bit in an...Read more

Post date: 07/07/2016 - 07:30
The Crowkeepers - Witches of the Rock

The Crowkeepers were on my radar because of guitarist Bill Simms from Shoot the Pier - a two-person moody surf group he did with his daughter. The Crowkeepers keep a similarly somber tone to them that seems to loom even over the more upbeat tracks. It never really roars, much more likely to creep. They really lean into that sound on the album title track "Witches on the Rock", and I think it works well. As a live band and not a bedroom project, this isn't quite as dressed up with recording...Read more

Post date: 07/05/2016 - 08:10
Os Pontas - Fuzz Jungle

I don't think Os Pontas are trying to rise to the top of the surf guitar virtuoso ladder -- they're all about fuzzed out primitive jungle sounds. Plenty of groups pull off primitive the natural way: by sucking, but Os Pontas walk that tough line of careful sloppiness -- sort of like early Black Lips records to step out of the instro realm. Fuzz Jungle is a fun record for stompin' around. The guitar speaks in a crass lizard brain language and the organs whirl to a Stax soul sound. The best...Read more

Post date: 06/29/2016 - 07:38
The Mullet Monster Mafia - Surf 'n Goat 7"

Brazil's The Mullet Monster Mafia have been busy! Earlier this year they released a vinyl picturedisc called "", which is a reissue of their first two albums. They also just recently (I'm a few weeks late!) released a 7" called Surf n' Goat on Drunkabilly Records in advance of a huge European tour that's underway right now....Read more

Post date: 06/28/2016 - 07:26
Aaron and the Burrs - A Burr for All Seasons (and other tunes)

Aaron and the Burrs have been quiet for a little bit... missing out on some synergy opportunities with the broadway hit Hamilton! Eh, probably not.

This still sounds a lot like the Aaron and the Burrs we've heard for a while, sort of eleki-style with the lead guitar high-pitched and often quite staccato though with some sludgy punk guitar filling it out. Kinda similar to Beware the Danger of a Ghost Scorpion but a little more restrained. I do think there's a bit of a recording...Read more

Post date: 06/18/2016 - 09:34
Los Venturas - Miles High

This is the last entry of the month of Green Cookie Records. Within a few weeks, they've released Los Venturas, The El Caminos, The Aqua Barons and on their subsidiary label Surf Cookie they released Bamboogie Injections and a repackaged Surfoniani record. I'm guessing this is all leading up to Italy's Surfer Joe festival happening this weekend.

In the past I really haven't given Los Venturas the attention they deserve. I know a lot of people enjoyed their past two releases ...Read more

Post date: 06/18/2016 - 09:14
The El Caminos - Behind the Surf

I've wanted to look into the El Caminos past their excellent Del-Fi Release Reverb Explosion, but their other releases aren't terribly cheap for an American to find. So here we have a compilation of unreleased tunes from before that record. Some of them are familiar: alternate takes that found their way onto other El Caminos records, some are covers. It's good trad surf, though nothing that quite jumps at me like Reverb Explosion did. It's great to have...Read more

Post date: 06/18/2016 - 09:13
The El Caminos - Behind the Surf

I've wanted to look into the El Caminos past their excellent Del-Fi Release Reverb Explosion, but their other releases aren't terribly cheap for an American to find. So here we have a compilation of unreleased tunes from before that record. Some of them are familiar: alternate takes that found their way onto other El Caminos records, some are covers. It's good trad surf, though nothing that quite jumps at me like Reverb Explosion did. It's great to have...Read more

Post date: 06/17/2016 - 19:59
The Kaygles - Sunstroke EP

Here's one I almost passed by completely. Between the - I'm sorry but - terrible album art and the genitalia joke in the band name, I figured this would be some awful snotty garage-style surf rock a la Wavves. I took the risk though, and was immediately bowled over by some top-notch honkin' sax over a surf beat. This the good stuff: well produced trad surf with memorable melodies, nice big guitar sound backed up by some smartly accenting bass and keys. The first two tracks definitely...Read more

Post date: 06/06/2016 - 07:42
The Aqua Barons - Southeast Stompers

After 6 years and only two tracks on a Green Cookie compilation to show for it, Greece's The Aqua Barons have released their first LP. Though drawing on trad sounds, there's some very distinct creativity in here that really stand out as their own: from the loosely floating lead guitar in "the Lonely Siren", to a killer mix of fuzz and surf guitar in "Harbour Love" and some unhinged wildness on "Abandon Ship". The closer "Last Sunset" is a fun track as well, starting as cooled-off drifter but...Read more

Post date: 06/03/2016 - 07:36
The Wave Chargers - Wave Chargers EP

This is the debut release from the Wave Chargers, a fearsome foursome from France that play some pumpin' trad surf. For their first release they sound amazingly tight, with some killer interplay between the two very capable guitarists, rousing drumming, and stirring bass. They can really stir up some great energy and with memorable melodies as well. My favorites are a toss-up between "La Revanche du Kuromaku" and "Flip-Side", but they're all solid. Recording is a bit lo-fi, which I'm not...Read more

Post date: 06/01/2016 - 08:01
Bamboogie Injections - Wild Dandelion Stomping

One of the first groups on Green Cookie's companion label Surf Cookie Records, we have Bamboogie Injections from Russia (formerly under a different name that they have effectively swept under the rug). It makes an impression quickly though, with some frighteningly fast picking on the first two modern surf tracks. Thankfully for arthritic concern, there's some speed variation on this, with "Dandelion Wine" especially making for an interesting mix of mid-tempo song-writing, swirling keyboards...Read more

Post date: 06/01/2016 - 07:22
Urban Surf Kings - LIVORNO

Italy's Surfer Joe Festival is in 15 days, and to commemorate it Urban Surf Kings have put out their 14th release: the live set at the 2015 Surfer Joe Festival, named LIVORNO after the city it's held in. The recording is straight off the mixing board that went to North Sea Surf Radio and features songs spanning their entire double-decade career.Read more

Post date: 05/23/2016 - 07:55
Ninchi Surf System - Demo Drysurf 2

When Ninchi Surf System say "Drysurf" I think they mean desert dry. This release is predominantly spaghetti-western toned, though not in a directly Morricone-imitating way. They have a modern surf tone that isn't too riff-heavy, almost jammy or progressive at times, but also with a lonely WIld West mood -- while still keeping an upbeat pace. It's much more refined than their previous demo recording and even redoes their song "Western Hole". Both recordings are up on bandcamp: Demo Drysurf is...Read more

Post date: 05/18/2016 - 07:42
Holy Mountain Top Removers - The Ones Disappearing You

I was really looking foward to a new release from ; their was the sort of mix of surf, noise, skronk, free-jazz and who-knows that really got me excited. Unfortunately their new LP, though...Read more

Post date: 05/18/2016 - 07:16
SEAWHORES - Emilio Al Dente

This live set from SEAWHORES shows a pretty trashy-trad surf sound with a party-ready rock & roll edge. There's some cool saxamaphone in there in there too that gets buried in the lo-fi mix. There are, I think, eight originals on here and they're all well arranged and powerful. I'm a big believer that a lo-fi live recording will always trump a poorly done bedroom recording, but with a full range of well-developed songs like they have here, I wanna hear 'em with a studio treatment - so...Read more

Post date: 05/17/2016 - 08:12
Gasolines - Jungle Surfers

The last Gasolines LP was in 2008, but they're still as genre-twisting as they were when they left off. Plenty of bands have had jungle-themed surf albums, but this one sticks to it closely, even if they do it in a broad and multi-faceted way. The title track is the pure Martin Denny sound the cover aludes to, but you'll also hear Peruvian chicha on "La Danza de los Mirlos" and "Catamarã", reggae on "Rockers Rock", and interesting latin/South American percussion throughout. It's this sort of...Read more

Post date: 05/17/2016 - 07:24
Odicolon - Dracula's Dreams

Odicolon presents an interesting question: why is horror surf so heavy? They do creepy with a light touch with an easy tempo, sparse chilled out guitar picking and oddball electronics. They bring a lot of interesting sounds and ideas to the table and just about all of them work really well. Fans of Messer Chups should certainly take notice, but I hope these guys find a following of their own.

All I've found on these guys is the bandcamp page (free download!), if you find CDs please...Read more

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