"Surf" is a very limited term. Some of us use "instro" for that reason, and some don't worry about words. While I love the sunny 60's surf sound as much as anybody, I think instro music is kept alive and interesting thanks in part to the people that aren't afraid to leave it behind. This category is dedicated to surf's weirdo grandchildren. If you'd argue that these aren't surf at all, that's OK by me.
These Chilean folk definitely don't sound like every other band. While the prominent saxophone may be historically common, it's always a little surprising to hear in modern groups. More surprising is the sitar and the Street Fighter "HADOUKEN". But more importantly, their tone is much different, sometimes definitely not always sticking to the major chords, sometimes sounding a little atonal (I'm assuming intentionally).
What do I mean by most rad? I mean albums that rule by speed, power, and strength. Surf was the first true musical home of the adrenaline junkie and there are still plenty that carry that torch. I'm not saying meloday has no place here, but this is music to be FELT, not heard. I don't always refer to this sub-style as rad, but it rhymed with trad.
Making a decision here was driving me absolutely nuts. Both because that's the effect these songs have on you, but because it was incredibly hard to pick a winner. So here's my decision for tonight. It may change later in my head immediately after I write it, but it's set in stone here. But most importantly, these are all absolutely incredible records.
the sentinals - exotic (surf monsters)
los perloras - johnny pistolas (los perloras)
Galaxy Trio - surf 'n destroy (In the Harem)
jon & the nightriders - the force of gravity (surf beat '80)
the fathoms - Overboard (overboard)
dave myers & the surf tones - surferama (moment of truth)
the journeymen - road runner (rare surf: south bay bands)
the original surfaris - surfari (bombora!)
the new dimensions - totaled (the best of the new dimensions)
los persuaders - el surf del califa (los persuaders)
rene hall's orchestra - twitchy - 45
What is "Modern Surf"? Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, and it's definitely pretty subjective, but I'm defining Modern as groups that still have a strong root to 60's-styled surf but have picked up a handful of outside influences mostly missing from that era. It's a pretty murky line and my choices as to which groups lie on which side of it will probably be objectionable (I'll probably disagree an hour later) but I think instro music has gotten much more diverse and it's hard to compare some of these bands against each other.
Listen to WTUL
SSOR is not broadcasting right now, but there's always something interesting on at WTUL
Search for Stuff
Surf/Instro Release Schedule
Click the back arrow to see previous releases. To add your album email me.