release

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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Reverb Brasil releases Brazilian Tsunami Box Set

Brazilian Tsunami

Brazil truly seems like its own little world, a nation known for its cultural output, yet it always feels like it's not exactly put out there as much as the rest of the world peeks in. For Brazilian surf music, they have a champion advocating on their behalf: Reverb Brasil, headed by Leopoldo "Mocotó" Furtado. Reverb Brasil is to some extent a label, but mostly a platform to spread the word about Brazilian surf music. Reverb Tsunami is their most strident statement yet.

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The Cholla releases Link of the Surf Guitar EP

The Cholla - Link of the Surf Guitar

I think cartridge-based video games and surf music have a lot in common, having to impart feeling without the aid of vocals and having to do so with a very limited set of sounds available. Going even further than that, surf often tries to evoke a sense of danger and adventure, which is very familiar territory for video games. The themes that stand out in video games stand out because they're great: you're usually going to hear them on a loop, often for hours, so if you still like them after you've completed the game then that's a feat.

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