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The Del-Vipers - Cannibal Safari EP

The Del-Vipers - Cannibal Safari EP

In 2014 the Del-Vipers came out of nowhere (technically Austin, TX) with the relentlessly charging Terror of the Del-Vipers, one of my favorite surf records of the 2010s. It's hard to believe it's only been 4 years since we've heard anything new from them, but Cannibal Safari is a welcome return. The opener "Cobra's Fang" is exactly the stuff from Terror, an aggressive first strike with pounding surf beat. "Kapu" is a bit more of a stomper, not quite subdued but dialing the tempo back from a 10 to an 8 or so.

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Humanga Danga - Humanga Danga

Humanga Danga - Humanga Danga

Weird name, good band. Humanga Danga hail from Ghent, but I struggle to find much overt Fifty Foot Combo influence. Instead, their own stated influences of Space Cossacks and Langhorns sound just about right in the lead guitar tone: a good modern surf tone with a solid thunk to it and strong attack. It's helped out a lot but a very eager rhythm guitarist that's always punctuating the melody in interesting ways, sometimes making it hard to believe that there's just two guitars.

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The Mystery Men? - Firewalkers

The Mystery Men? - Firewalkers

Firewalkers has had a long road. The original plan was to have it released at the 2017 SurfGuitar101, and The Mystery Men? even played the album in its entirety, essentially treating it as an album release. However, it missed that date and instead they released a preview EP called Embers with some choice cuts from the album. So naturally it felt like it was just around the corner. A year later, they released a revealing that they had been robbed and needed some help to see the light of day. And again, there were preview clips of this record, a few more crumbs.

That GoFundMe hasn’t been a roaring success (hint, hint) but Firewalkers is real. I have heard it. And it’s kind of wonderful that it will make its true debut, CD copies on-hand, at , essentially their own event on their home turf.<--break->

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Impala - In the Late Hours

Impala - In the Late Hours

Who would have thought that after 20 years of silence we’d see seminal instro acts of the 90s like Impala and The Bomboras rise from the grave? While I think surf is having a great year right now, it’s slowly changed since the 90’s, probably a little less traditional, or at least allowed a lot more instrumental music styles under its umbrella.

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The Head Henchmen - Oh No! It's the Head Henchmen

The Head Henchmen - Oh No! It's the Head Henchmen

This music isn’t about commercial success, so just about everybody’s in it for fun. So it feels kind of wrong to judge a band by how much fun it sounds like they’re having, but damn if these guys don’t sound like they’re having a little more fun than the rest.

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Reverb Nation: Live at the 2017 Surf Guitar 101 Convention

Reverb Nation: Live at the 2017 Surf Guitar 101 Convention

For those that got into surf somewhere after the 80’s and before bandcamp, compilations were key for exposure to more surf groups. That’s slowed down significantly, with only a handful of notable ones in the past few years (off the top of my head Brave New Surf and Monsters of Surf). Reverb Nation serves a dual purpose of commemorating a great lineup at the Surfguitar 101 convention (the tracks are mostly in the same sequence of the performances) and as a surf compilation.

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The Bradipos IV release Lost Waves

The Bradipos IV = Lost Waves

In 2016 The Bradipos IV after 11 years The Bradipos IV released their comeback record The Partheno-Phonic Sounds Of… It was a great record, and gauging by the hype at Surfguitar 101, a lot of people agreed. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait very long for the next one.

While Partheno-phonic was comprised of traditional neapolitan songs, the new record is a bit more of a straightforward instro record, especially as they tend to be today. That means a few covers, some dipping into other sub-genres (particularly Western in this case) and a bunch of originals.

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King Ghidora releases The Secret Origin of an Unknown Planetary Destroyer

King Ghidora - The Secret Origin of an Unknown Planetary Destroyer

In surf music we don’t deduct points for being derivative so I’ll go ahead and confirm what you have already deduced from the album art: there’s a pretty heavy Man or Astro-Man? influence here But who among us thinks that the universe couldn’t use another Project Infinity? That’s basically what’s going on here: not so much the experimental, sciencey side of MOAM but the loud guitars and punk energy.

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