Double Crown

Blackball Bandits release The Lost Mission

Blackball Bandits - The Lost Mission

It’s been great watching Blackball Bandits find their way from a couple of bandcamp so-called-demos to a proud members of the Double Crown roster (and featured on the soundtrack to a ). They’ve done a great job of retrofitting retro surf feel and attitude to more modern surf song structures.


The Splashdowns release Rocket Tales

The Splashdowns - Rocket Tales

Splashdown is when a spacecraft hits the water upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere. When astronauts go from space to surf.  It's a great name for the splashdowns, who mix a semi-trad surf sound with a sense of cosmic wonder and adventure. Think  rather than Man... or Astro-man?, with a non-aggressive, thoughtful surf approach and not much reliance on out-there effects. There's a surprising amount of variety too.


Gremmy Awards 2016: Rest of the Best

The Rest of the Best

There are some things that deserve recognition other than just the albums themselves. This is the category where I get to spill out the rest of those observations. These categories change year to year.


Gremmy Awards 2016: Best Trad Surf Album

Best Trad Surf Album

If you go on bandcamp and sort by the "surf" tag, you may not recognize what you find. A bunch of garage bands, most of them with vocals. Meanwhile, a lot of modern instrumental bands cringe a bit when their music is compared to the product of a 60's cultural explosion in California. But there are some groups that are proud torch-bearers of that time. Not looking to reinvent the wheel, but rather recapture a lost art. These are the groups that did it best this year.


The Concussions release Newaygo Sound Machine

The Concussions - Newaygo Sound Machine

The Concussions hit an amazing middle ground between being absolutely crammed with hooks and being understated. What I find is that this combination makes for an absurd amount of repeat spins in the car, especially as background music. Now, I hate talking about instro as background music, but when everybody finds themselves whistling it when they get out, I think that's OK. The Concussions are able to grab that simpler form of riff-based song-writing that seems left in the 60s and they do it effortlessly.


The Volcanics release Stompin' Garage

The Volcanics - Stompin' Garage

The Volcanics aren't the most celebrated band on the Double Crown roster, but they're one of the most solid. While the mailman hasn't brought this one to my doorstep just yet, from Double Crown's descriptions this sounds like more of the same. More of the same means killer trad instrumentals that hit the sweet spot of testosterone and melodic sensibility sitting next to some great upbeat garage tracks. Not to mention I've always thought the production quality on their records hits just the right crispness and tone to get that great energy of the 60's classics.


The Kanaloas release Surf A Go Go!

The Kanaloas - Surf A Go Go!

The Kanaloas are the latest group to be brought into the Double Crown gang. Though they've been around for a good while, they stuck to 7"s up until this point and might have passed you by (admittedly, this was the case for me). Now they have an 11-song LP under their belt with a simple but pretty choice of album art that broadcasts one thing loud and clear: "Trad". The Kanaloas perform in suits, and serve up 60's styled originals and a few obscure covers. I haven't gotten a copy of this yet, but they have a proven track record and the Double Crown seal of quality. Hard to argue!


Gremmy Awards 2015: The Best of the Rest

Gremmy Awards 2015: The Best of the Rest

While I'm busy cooking up these other awards, I find a few more things I want to recognize. So here are a bunch of smaller awards. No honorable mentions, only one runner-up if that.

Best Record Label

Double Crown Records



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