This category is for albums that are unmistakably surf, but would not be mistaken for vintage. This was a tough category this year and it was tough choosing a winner. A lot of these were also really pushing the envelope, and it was hard to decide what belongs here and what belongs in the Way-Out Instro category.
This is my own terminology for surf music that's more punk-influenced, with a focus on speed and force before anything else. I like it because it rhymes with Trad. It's not necessarily about who's the loudest and the fastest as much as it's about who's the best at being loud and fast.
After 50 years, surf music has morphed and evolved in many ways, but some groups strive to tap into the sound and feeling that it all came from back in the early 60's.
I’ve heard a lot of great surf records behind terrible album art, but some good art can not only draw you in but shape your listening experience. And in a style of music that is so attached to kitschy paraphernalia, it’s interesting to see how bands can either harness or subvert those associations to stand out and even shape instro culture.
Welcome to the fourth annual Gremmy Awards, Storm Surge of Reverb’s official designations of the best instro records of the year.
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