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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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The Mermers release Get Swell Soon

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.

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Amphibian Man releases Waves EP

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.

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The Crowkeepers release Witches of the Rock

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.

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Os Pontas release Fuzz Jungle

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.

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The Mullet Monster Mafia release Surf 'n Goat 7"

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. Even saw one date with Demon Vendetta... that's a pairing I'd love to see!

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