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Tikiyaki 5-0 release Introducing the Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0 EP

Introducing the Exotic Sounds of Tikiyaki 5-0

Tikiyaki 5-0 are a smaller, more portable and guitar-focused version of The Tikiyaki Orchestra. While Tikiyaki Orchestra had no problem finding fans in the surf crowd, this is more surf than exotica, even when they're covering Arthur Lyman's "Taboo", which manages to finish with a rousing crescendo -- definitely a favorite on this EP. That said, "Song of Delilah" and Les Baxter's "Enchanted Sea" keep a bit more of an exotica mood. For the surf nuts, there's a cover of Zorba and the Greeks' "Shockwave" and a killer original "Supernova" that is 100% pedal-to-the-metal surf.

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Crazy Aces release Garageland EP

Crazy Aces - Garageland

Crazy Aces have made a name in the surf world, but I think of them as more of a Ventures-styled band -- more twangy than drippy and focused primarily on melody. If you've enjoyed their previous records, I think you'll be all over "Scorpions", "Rudy's Revenge" and "Chop and Channel". It's hard to pick a favorite among them. Then they try their hand at spaghetti western with "Trail of the Mystery Men" which is much more cinematic sounding than I expect from them. They trade off a steady drum beat for for acoustic strumming, strings and background vocals.

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Tidal Baby release UFO Surf Club

Tidal Baby - UFO Surf Club

This is the first LP from Tidal Baby (formerly known as Grimm Futures) seemingly out of Canada? Their label is, and I swear I hear a bit of a Huevos Rancheros twang to them, so that's my guess. 7 instrumentals and one vocal track with a great loud-as-hell guitar sound complimented well by the bass. They crank out a lot of noise for a 3-piece. This is recorded live and I do think that holds them back a bit, but the songs and the sound are solid and it's definitely worth the free download from bandcamp. Looking forward to hearing more from them.

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Martin Cilia releases Sleepwalk EP

Martin Cilia - Sleepwalk

The latest from Australia's surf guitar maestro. You've got 5 tracks on this one, four originals and of course the cover of the classic Sleepwalk. As can be expected from Cilia, production is slick as all get-out with reverbed electric guitar floating on for miles on Sleepwalk. I've only heard the snippets below of the originals, but it looks like they've got a solid breadth and some fresh ideas.

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Here's a bunch of surf releases that I haven't gotten around to telling you about

Though I really do try to stay on top of all major surf releases as they come out, there are plenty that slip by my notice and some I plum forget to talk about. So I'll do them all at once because that's somehow less daunting to me than doing them individually. If I'm missing anything let me know, I'm definitely going to reference this when I build my list of surf releases from 2016.

Said the Ripper - The Hanging at Barbed Wire (Released in May)

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Robotron releases Robotron Versus The Invincible and Indestructible Reptilicus

Robotron - Robotron Versus The Invincible and Indestructible Reptilicus

Robotron is a project by Bjørn Hovland featuring 7 tracks of monstrous fuzzed out tough surf. While a lot of these projects where one member writes and plays many parts tend to sound stripped down, this gives no indication based on the music itself. Partially because this was hardly a bedroom recording: Bjorn hails from Norway, the album was mixed in Brazil and mastered in Seattle!

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The Grave Diggers release Grave Diggers EP

The Grave Robbers - Grave Diggers EP

The Grave Diggers play generally aggressive punk-influenced surf with tinges of horror surf. Those tinges are especially noticeable in the back-to-back Ghastly Ones covers. But this is a pretty fun record, they definitely know how to keep up a great energy and pump out a lot of sound for a threesome. Ontop of nice guitarism, they have a bunch of small little tweaks, sound effects, and quirks that add another level of interestingness. This isn't exactly the flashiest cover art -- with something a little more noticeable I think they'd deserve to get noticed.

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The Grande Bois release Surf Salvation

The Grande Bois - Surf Salvation

The Grande Bois have been a pretty ambitious group since their first release and they're just as inventinve and frenetic on their third LP. Though their album art often deals in horror movie camp, they don't really come off as a horror surf band (especially on sleepy tracks like "Shy Groove", a straight sunset surf tune). Rather, they roll around in strange fiction tropes with playfulness. It gives them a good variety, sometimes playing it straight and sometimes getting pretty goofy and punctuating a song with cow moos.

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King Ghidora release Curse of Poseidon EP

King Ghidora - Curse of Poseidon EP

King Ghidora's been on my radar for a while, but I never caught wind of any prior releases apart from reverbnation updates and the like. Even if it's 3 songs, I'm glad to finally have this band in my library. King Ghidora hail from the Man or Astro-Man branch of the instro family tree, and I reckon they probably prefer the later material. KG's style is aggressive but progressive, with tracks 2 and 3 stretching into prog-psych-surf territory at 6 minute lengths. That's long for surf!

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Sys Malakian releases Drifting With The Tide

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 faster tracks I never feel like it gets aggressive. Sort of a rainy-day bedroom surf.

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