Green Cookie

Gremmy Awards 2019: Rest of the Best

Gremmy Awards 2019: Rest of the Best

The downside of assigning strange categories for your end-of-year review process is there's all these other things you want to recognize. So that's what this is for. These categories are completely unstructured. Some categories didn't exist last year, some categories disappeared from last year, and they might come back next year.

For the sake of layout I'm not posting individual Gremmy Awards images for winners, but if you won and you'd like me to send one, let me know.

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Gremmys 2019: Best Trad Surf Record

Best Trad Surf Record

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

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Gremmy Awards 2016: Rest of the Best

The Rest of the Best

There are some things that deserve recognition other than just the albums themselves. This is the category where I get to spill out the rest of those observations. These categories change year to year.

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Los Venturas release Miles High

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.

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The El Caminos release Behind the Surf

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 more material, even if it's old, from a great Japanese surf group.

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The El Caminos release Behind the Surf

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 more material, even if it's old, from a great Japanese surf group.

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The Aqua Barons release Southeast Stompers

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 building into a roar.

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Les Agamemnonz release Au Revoir (and De A à Z)

Les Agamemnonz - Au Revoir

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 chicha sound.

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