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The Manakooras - Jungle of Steel

The Manakooras - Jungle Steel

The Manakooras are not what you think they are.

Comprised of Jeremy from The Aqualads, Ted Pilgrim, Brian and Gary from the Intoxicators, Tim from the Reverburritos and others, this is not a surf supergroup. This is an exotica group, and there's even less noticeable surf guitar than on previous releases they've done. Don't approach this like Tikiyaki Five-O, expecting surf covers of exotica, this is exotica enough that the surf musicians are really my only excuse for reviewing it. It helps that it's really good too.

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The Hang-Ten Hangmen - After the Storm EP

The Hang-Ten Hangmen - After the Storm EP

I have some old EPs from The Hang-Ten Hangmen dating back to 2010, playing trashy lo-fi surf with a bit of a dark edge to them. They turned that around with their much more bright and bouncy EP "Destination Saturn", which had some great expensive-sounding production and beach party vibes. They followed that up in 2018 with their LP "This is Boss", which doubled down on the party feeling with big foot-stomping vibes, sax, and keeping guitar tones fairly clean.

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The Del-Vipers - Los Del-Vipers

The Del-Vipers - Los Del-Vipers

The Del-Vipers shot out like a rocket with their debut LP Terror of the Del-Vipers, then carried that momentum onto the more musically diverse EP Cannibal Safari. So you might be a little a little startled by how unstartling this album starts: with with friendly, sweet Shadows-ey guitar. On their second LP, The Del-Vipers have crafted a much more global, expansive sound that does more than just rip... but also still rips.

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The Delstroyers - 10,000 Ways to Die

The Delstroyers - 10,000 Ways to Die

I remember when Northwest surf guardian Thom Head said I needed to listen to this local Seattle band The Delstroyers, and made sure I got a copy of their first EP. I remember hearing it and thinking he wasn't kidding. Since then it's been a lot of fun watching them go on to do bigger things. They released a blast of a debut LP, put out a cool 7" on Hi-Tide, and I've seen them play on two US coasts -- my then-unborn son even started kicking along to a pre-SG101 show, the first time he'd done that to music!

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The Fuzziyama Surfers - Wild Echizen

The Fuzziyama Surfers - Wild Echizen

As global as the surf scene is today, I feel like we only get glimpses of what's happening in Japan. You hear about how tiny villages have "Ventures" bands, we know about eleki, Surf Coasters, and from what I hear it's a great place to tour playing surf music -- with all that in mind there must be more than the likes of The El Caminos, The Royal Fingers, Mach Kung Fu, 5.6.7.8's, Toni OK, Rat Holic, The Routes, Lulufin the Woohoo and Switch Trout. After all, those bands are all REALLY GOOD. Where are the mediocre Japanese surf bands?

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Bandcamp Friday Roundup: May 2022

The Whys - A Day on Mercury

I haven't done one of these in a while! It's another Bandcamp Friday, where Bandcamp skips its cut of sales and passes them to the artists. It's been a packed April, and full of lesser-known names to boot, so it's a good time for me to get back to sharing my finds. Here's some standout releases that I noticed, and I probably forgot some too. This is only April and early May releases, even though there was some great stuff in March too, and I they're super short since I wrote this whole thing starting at like 9pm Thursday.

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The Surfrajettes - Roller Fink

The Surfrajettes - Roller Fink

The Surfrajettes are the biggest ambassadors of surf music to emerge in a while, largely stemming from the viral success of their "Toxic" youtube video. I've caught them being played on my radio station by other DJs, several friends have sent me the aforementioned video, and my friends at a record store alerted me to this album being in stock when I walked in for Record Store Day without my asking.

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Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - The Flawless Miss Drake

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - The Flawless Miss Drake

SSSU's unique blend of surf and lounge (for lack of better description) have been a beloved facet of the surf ecosystem for 25 years. However, though I think they never lost a step, their more recent efforts felt a little "library" (again, for lack of a better term). A little more genre-expansive, experimental, and a little less guitar. I always thought it was probably all they could do to keep from going stale, and they did it well.

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Now That's What I Call Surf! Volume One

Now That's What I Call Surf! Volume One

I should have seen this coming. There have been plenty of surf cover bands and surf cover albums. I've seen a few covers of modern songs by bands like . The New Waves released , and that was pretty fun. I somehow didn't realize that eventually somebody would come for my teenage years.

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