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The A-Men - Let's Fly to Mars

The A-Men - Let's Fly to Mars

Let's Fly to Mars is a high-profile, long-term, cross-continental collaboration between Jeremy DeHart known primarily from The Aqualads, El Firetone from El Ray, Dr. Boris  from Messer Chups, and Dane Carter from The Madeira. Jeremy lays out the story in detail in that I would highly recommend reading.

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Black Valley Moon - The Baleful Sounds of...

Black Valley Moon - The Baleful Sounds of...

The Sharawaji Records roster has been growing steadily and adding more high-profile releases. They recently grabbed some attention for the upcoming Chewbacca’s record, but meanwhile this little gem snuck under the radar. Black Valley Moon features the guitarist from Epitaph punk band Down By Law, but they do a great job of carving out a unique surf that feels accomplished and comfortable within the genre.

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Beach Moonsters - Wild Surf Power EP

Beach Moonsters - Wild Surf Power

I don’t know much about French surf power trio Beach Moonsters but they quickly had me thinking of another prominent French group: Hawaii Samurai. They’re tastefully clipped to sound loud, play fast, and generally keep it pretty stupid and fun. There’s one slower one “Before the Death of the Gringo”, but it’s by no means any softer. It’s hard to find much to say here, if power surf is your thing, I think your interest will be piqued.

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Via Combusta - s/t 7"

Via Combusta - Via Combusta

Recently the surf radio show Heads Up! with Carmen Ghia put on a monster 11-band showcase of Seattle's surf/instro groups. On that roster was a band called Via Combusta, who have been playing Seattle surf shows for a while but seem largely unknown outside their home turf (and was certainly unknown to me). This 7" was slated for a release this fall, but waddaya know, they were ready to go earlier than expected, which is seemingly never the case these days. I think they deserve a little attention.

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Los Frenéticos - Teletransportación

Los Frenéticos - Teletransportación

In 2015 Los Freneticos’ album El Sonido Que Perdura was anointed with my record of the year (man, I was playing fast and loose with the word "trad" then...). It’s a record that bursts with energy, exuberance and playfulness. Teletransportacion is the follow-up to that record, and though it keeps much of the same sound, it chooses a different style. If El Sonido Que Perdura is an action-packed Saturday afternoon in the sun, Teletransportacion is Sunday at the same spot, cold drink in hand.

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Amphibian Man - Shapes (Side A)

Amphibian Man - Shapes (Side A)

3 releases in less than a year, perhaps Amphibian Man is getting back to his previous furious pace. Though went back to slapping some reverb on that guitar, these 7 songs are about as dry and punk-sounding as they've ever been, to the point where I'd consider this instro-punk instead of instro-surf.

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Death Wave - Mare Incognitum

Death Wave - Mare Incognitum

Despite hearing their first EP, something about this led me to believe that it would be fast-n-nasty metal-tinged surf, but Mare Incognitum actually adopts a pretty normal modern surf sound at a normal pace, just dwelling a bit more on the darker side. That's no complaint though, each of these is punchy and fun, almost always danceable, and with a good sense of when to go big, when to sound a little nastier, and generally how to stay interesting and fun.

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Galactic Gold - Digital Vape

Galactic Gold - Digital Vape

I've often seen talk of drum machines in surf but it usually seems like a solution for bedroom composing and the inability to form a band. I gotta say that most of the music I've heard with them is... eh. But there are some bands that have fused surf with synth and drum machines very well, such as earlier Messer Chups and Matorralman. Galactic Gold sounds like neither and pulls it off well.

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The Flying Faders - Tectonic Shifts

The Flying Faders - Tectonic Shifts

Chad Shivers (organizer of the Southern Surf Stomp, plays in The Mystery Men?, KBK, plenty of others bands) champions The Flying Faders’ debut album No Sweat as one of the best surf albums of the past 10 years. I like it, but it never quite grabbed me enough. I couldn’t tell you why, and I can’t tell you why their new LP seems to fix whatever it was. Tectonic Shifts is a great album.

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