Argentina

Megatronadores release Wanglen

Megatronadores - Wanglen

Argentina's Megatronadores impressed me with their first EP Wedwedn. It had a great wide open and free-floating feeling to it while still keeping a significant heft and drive. I had a feeling that with their follow-up they would only expand and try new things, and sure enough the result is a expansive, extremely creative work that makes for a wonderous listen even if its tether to surf is pretty thin.

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Las Olas release Psicodelia Neanderthal Vol. 1

Las Olas - Psicodelia Neanderthal Vol. 1

In a peculiar move, Las Olas double down on their bleak, dreary guitar work and add a helping of bongos. This LP, their second, expands their range of instruments and explores different rhythms, but the overall tone is a step towards horror surf -- maybe more Hitchcock than Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I found "Tormenta" and "El Fantasma" to be highlights, though "Plutons" wandering through Brazillian rhythms, jazzy moments and a touch of theremin make for an oddball number.

Free download on bandcamp.

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Culebra & Thee Evolution Surf School release Uncontrollable Waves 7"

Culebra & Thee Evolution Surf School - Uncontrollable Waves 7"

Some straight trad stuff from Culebra here with a focus on melody over racket. Though guitar is at the forefront, the little touches of sax and organ are a nice sub-surface flourish. Though adequate, I think the sound production here isn't doing these songs justice -- there are some nice, memorable tunes here but they don't present themselves well on first listen. My favorite is the opener "Tres Palmeras"

You can buy it on 7" vinyl or digital download from Bandcamp.

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Tsunamish release Hiroshima EP

Tsunamish - Hiroshima EP

Tsunamish have been on a steady one-EP-a-year release schedule so far, and this should please if you've been a fan of them this far. For the most part it's upbeat modern-traditional surf rock, though there's a bit more of a punk sound on their Bad Religion cover of "We're Only Gonna Die" and they have vocals on their cover of Holly Golightly's "There is an End".

I've always enjoyed Tsunamish's album art and though the woman on the cover is certainly not showing Amish modesty, this is probably my favorite so far.

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Los Freneticos release El Sonido Que Perdura

Los Freneticos - El Sonido Que Perdura

Los Freneticos' previous LP "El Playa" was a great little surf album with plenty of nice tunes, but I didn't see a hint that they were heading towards something as ambitious as this. The description on their bandcamp page calls this "a lesson that reviews the A to Z of contemporary surf rock sound" (translated) and they certainly do make an effort towards that. I believe Los Freneticos are a quintet, but they frequently stretch out a bit further than that with an extensive cast of guest musicians playing flamenco, pedal steel, trumpets etc.

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Megatronadores release Wedwedn EP

Megatronadores - Wedwedn EP

I can't find much on Megatronadores outside this bandcamp page - no facebook, website, twitter -  but this looks like their first release and they have my attention! The opening track "Volcanica" is a great trad surf number with a nice and wet guitar tone and a great sense of danger ramped up by a swirling organ in the background. But then on "El Cuero" they start to get a bit more brave, constantly switching the tones of their instruments: surf to fuzz, keyboard to 80's synth, churchbells all of a sudden... and it works surprisingly well!

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Beach Breakers release En vivo ATMC Fest VI

Beach Breakers - En vivo ATMC Fest VI

A live album from the band that I can't help but think of as "". Great trad sound, really sunny and fun and well-played, with a few sound clips thrown on in-between songs. It definitely does sound live, but that really only becomes a factor on the few vocal songs, where the vocals dwarf the instrumental mix. Otherwise, there's a great energy and bounce to it throughout.

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Las Olas release Las Olas LP

Las Olas - Las Olas LP

Las Olas may have a mostly trad sound to them, but they're not exactly going for a sunny SoCal vibe. Like the ashy cover art suggests, this is some dark, hopeless surf. Not necessarily slow and dreary - there are some frantic songs like "violeta", but definitely not smiling at you.

You can stream it on bandcamp, or just download it for free!

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El Mounstro de la Laguna Chiquichano release TRELEWAYO

El Mounstro de la Laguna Chiquichano - TRELEWAYO

Surf is usually pretty analog, even in one-man home studio incarnations, so it's always a little strange to hear projects like this. While most tracks still have recognizable reverbed surf guitar, just about everything else is unabashed drum machine, electric keyboard, and synthesized sounds. And it's pretty fun! Definitely has a bedroom project feel, but still has a surf pace and surf song structures.

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