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Genki Genki Panic - Kahuna Mutato

Genki Genki Panic - Kahuna Mutato

Genki Genki Panic stands at an unlikely intersection between Mike Patton, Cave In, John Carpenter, Danny Elfman, surf music, and nerddom. Their own description of this album is that it was supposed to be an epic noise/surf concept album, and it seems it languished and they were like "eh, it's the apocalpyse right now, let's just push it out." Oddly enough, I think it settles into something that feels just about right for this band.

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The Coffin Daggers - Eleki Album

The Coffin Daggers - Eleki Album

The fourth LP from Coffin Daggers is perhaps a bigger turn than having a google-eyed bongo-playing demon on the cover: it's a cover record! Of eleki tunes! For those unacquainted, Eleki is a Japanese instrumental rock & roll music, highly Ventures influenced, typically with very sharp, staccato guitar tones. Admittedly, Eleki is a bit of a weak point in my instro knowledge -- I always kind of hoped I'd go to Japan and blindly buy anything that vaguely fit the bill and learn from there -- but generally good starting points are Takeshi Terauchi and Yuzo Kayama.

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Review: The Ventures: Stars on Guitars Documentary

The Ventures: Stars on Guitars

Last year there was an unfortunate collision of interests for instrumental music fans: two documentaries on The Ventures, each seeking crowdfunding at the same time. Stars on Guitars appeared to have suffered more from that conflict, raising considerably less than Walk Don't Run with roughly a third as many donors. However, this clearly didn't shake the team for Stars on Guitars, as their film readies for release while appears to be looking at 2021 at the earliest. I certainly didn't expect to see this film so soon, but the result feels quite full, fun, and perhaps more exciting for surf music fans than they might expect!

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Surf-a-Tomica - Auténtico del Líbano

Surf-a-Tomica -  Auténtico del Líbano

Surf-a-Tomica made their debut earlier this year with a full of great guitar lines and a great, punchy beat. Did they know they were going to release another 7 songs within the same year? While a full album would have suited them well, they took a good formula and made it great here.

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The Tourmaliners - Tourmaline Dream

The Tourmaliners - Tourmaline Dream

The Tourmaliners (named after Tourmaline Beach) are billed as a 60’s throwback band, but I suspect this like likely designated for gigs around town. For us picky surf fans, I hear a throwback to an unexpected time: 2nd wave surf! If I were to listen without context, I’d pin them right square at 1990, particularly with the reverbed drum treatment, and flavor of the reverb altogether. In fact, if you want a good frame of reference I’d point you to The Pixies’ version of “Cecilia Ann” off their 1990 album Bossanova. It’s not entirely a matter of production though: “Adios Saladita” and “Stellular” evoke Mermen and “Green Pipe” has a light ska/reggae intro. The Tourmaliners absolutely don’t tunnel-vision their sound to the surf golden age, there’s clearly a lot of other influences at play, though don’t expect Man or Astro-Man to be found anywhere inside.

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Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - Studio 37

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - Studio 37

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited would be one of the best at their genre if they didn’t feel like their own genre. If each LPs sounds similar to the last, I believe that’s OK because nobody else sounds like them and that sound has been pretty tightly designed since LP1.

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