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Los Straitjackets release What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets - What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets have been friendcrushin' for a while, with LSJ having joined Lowe as a backing band on a few occasions. That leads us to this album of instrumental Nick Lowe covers. Not too familiar with Nick Lowe? Me neither, but these translate very well and don't simply feel like guitars "singing" vocal parts. Los Straitjackets have long ago expanded their sound past the 60's surf vocabulary, so the latin percussion on "Checkout Time" (for instance) gives you a song that doesn't sound like Nick Lowe or The Surfaris, and "I Read A Lot" takes major cues from exotica. It's a pretty subdued album, often moreso than the originals, but LSJ's musicianship should make this feel fresh no matter what angle you approach from.

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Five Fingers with Parasol release Si Yo Tuviere Una Longboard​.​.​. EP

Five Fingers with Parasol - Si Yo Tuviere Una Longboard​.​.​. EP

Five Fingers with Parasol are a trad surf band with with an energy that matches their look. Entirely upbeat, and lighthearted enough to mix The Simpsons theme into their song "Piedra, Papel o Cangrejo". For a trio it sounds surprisingly full, though they are sometimes helped by a fourth guitarist. Sometimes it's hard to convey how good a plain ol' trad surf record can be, but Five Fingers here have done a great job of tapping into that simple essense of fun that real surf is all about. It oughta put a smile on your face.

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The Wave Chargers release Strike Again! EP

For whatever reason, I skipped over The Wave Chargers first EP, but now that they've struck again I'm paying attention. They play crashing, fast and loud trad surf with a lo-fi production. Definitely getting a little bit of an Apemen vibe from it and they namedrop Les Cavaliers and The Wangs, which I think are appropriate too. Though all tracks are great, the cover of Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Crossfire" really nailed it.

Digital download via bandcamp or 7" vinyl. Would love an LP from these guys.

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Satan's Pilgrims release Siniestro

Satan's Pilgrims - Siniestro

It's finally here: the comeback record after 8 years following their last comeback record Psychsploitation. They've refocused back on a trad surf sound with a simple, melodic riff-based focus. For a 3-guitar lineup, they keep it surprisingly organized and patient, with those extra layers just making that surf sound deeper. Listening to this on vinyl (more on that in a sec), the combination of those three guitars in unison with a great natural reverb, and top-notch engineering is heavenly for a trad surf guitar nut. That's helped by a perfectly recorded bass compliment, and some explosive drums. It sounds like a faithful vintage surf record with all the fidelity those records rarely get.

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The Deep release The Deep

The Deep - The Deep

The Deep are a trio from Germany that, despite the simplistic surf-ish cover, have a lot of big ideas. This is not your 60's surf by a longshot, taking more cues from moodier groups like Bambi Molesters or maybe the Mermen and focusing a bit more on sound than an infectious beat. The result is cinematic, somewhat psychedelic, and a surf record that engages your frontal lobe a bit more than your lizard brain. If you're a fan of the Aussie band The Break then this might work well for you.

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Doyley and the Twanglords release Twang Solo

Doyley and the Twanglords - Twang Solo

Doyley and the Twanglords is an all-instro pursuit from Diablo Records owner Philip Doyle, who has played guitar for rockabilly and psychobilly bands like Guitar Slingers, Demented Are Go, and The Klingonz. Like many 'billy nuts out there, he's got a penchant for surf as well, and this is a compilation of his instrumental efforts over the last 20 years.

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Man or Astroman release Live at Third Man Records

Man or Astroman - Live at Third Man Records

In 2016 as part of Record Store Day festivities at Third Man Records, Man or Astroman played a live set recording directly to acetate... which sounds pretty appropriate for both the band and the label. That performance is available on vinyl now--and from what I've heard it's vinyl only, no digital download.

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WJLP release WJLP is Out of this World

WJLP - WJLP is Out of this World

For a while WJLP's Petomaniac was one of the best free surf/instro albums you could find on bandcamp. They've since decided to get paid for it, though still pretty damn affordable (and very worth it) at €5. Though they've sprinkled instrumentals here and there since then, but they're back to a full instrumental record with a spacey sci-fi movie theme.

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