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The New Shaker Sex Addicts - We're In This Together EP

The New Shaker Sex Addicts - We're In This Together EP

The over-the-the top party feeling that you get from a band name that seemingly promises you both sex and (presumably) butt-shaking feels kind of ironically imposed when you actually listen to this album. It’s not sad or particularly listless or anything, it’s totally danceable, but there’s a sour and strange feeling to this. My first thought was a sort of vaporwave via surf, but I think something closer would be a Twin Peaks comparison. Not so much directly to Angelo Badalamenti, but the feel of the show itself.

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Maeds Dominos - Copacabana Switchblade EP

Maeds Dominos - Copacabana Switchblade EP

Let’s jump straight to what’s important here: percussion.

A lot of bands reach for that spy sound, and while some try to get there via mimicry of John Barry, the real key isn’t in what you’re twangin’ but what you’re bangin’. Maeds Dominos sometimes have the snare restricted to surbeat, but you can expect it to be joined by bongos, glockenspiel (?), tambourine… it’s extremely well done and expands the whole feeling of the songs beyond mere guitar aggression.

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Messer Chups - Mondo Harp

Messer Chups - Mondo Harp

Y’all, I do my best to stay on top of this stuff, so I felt like a chump when I walked up to the merch table at our local Messer Chups show to find an album I’d never seen before. Their new one no less! To be fair, Mondo Harp has been strangely under the radar, with barely any mention on facebook and not yet having made its way to bandcamp or even Amazon. The opening track “Humanica” has a video available but it’s promoting the tour, not the album.<--break->

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The Volcanics - Forgotten Cove

The Volcanics - Forgotten Cove

I’ve been looking forward to this album for a good while now, especially since I saw the artwork way back at SG101 last year. Though the album cover evokes a bit more narrative and intrigue than anything they’ve had previously, it wasn’t the draw of something new that attracted me – it was the promise of what The Volcanics always provide.

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Moms I'd Like to Surf - Beach Control to Major Knob

Moms I'd Like to Surf - Beach Control to Major Knob

The surf band with perhaps the most uncomfortable name since Bambi Molesters have finally released their first full-length, and that mindset of pushing out of the comfort zone is all over this thing. However, this isn’t achieved by merely adding a theremin or doing a spaghetti western song; it’s with unexpected syncopation, different guitar tones, subtle effects and instrumentation. Not only is the band trying new things, but the listener is challenged as well. And most importantly, it works.

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The KBK - Acute Exposure: The First Ten Years

The KBK - Acute Exposure: The First Ten Years

Man or Astro-man led the charge of a new b-movie punk branch of instrumental surf. That reach extended globally but their crash-landing in Alabama left a radioactive fallout that spawned instro bands within a small radius for years to come. Kill Baby Kill (now The KBK) came along much later, but spilled out of the same crater and stuck around long enough to make an impact on many of us. When I spoke to Chad Shivers, organizer of Southern Surf Stomp, member of the Mystery Men? and currently bassist for The KBK, he told the main reason he joined the band is because it’s meaningful to him and he didn’t want it to go dormant. Kill Baby Kill played the first benefit I ever did for Storm Surge of Reverb and it was better than I could have imagined, so I totally get it.

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Bande de los Apaches - Forever

Bande de los Apaches - Forever

Here in New Orleans it’s carnival time. Nearly every night this week there are parades all over the city. Once you’ve been to enough of these parades, they lose a lot of their appeal, and as that happens your focus draws away from the flashy floats and the beads flying through the air and towards one of the most underappreciated facets of New Orleans culture: the high school marching bands. The New Orleans tradition of small brass ensembles have been slowly getting more of their due, but these marching bands don’t cut albums and are rarely experienced outside of carnival. 

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