vinyl

The Fuzillis release GRIND A GO GO Volume 1

The Fuzillis - GRIND A GO GO Volume 1

Las Vegas Grind is a compilation series put out by Crypt records featuring bawdy instrumentals that were more about honkin sax than reverbed guitar. That series helped identify a different style of rock & roll instrumental that might have otherwise been shrugged off we came to get a little more obsessed with genres and focus on this idea of "surf music". If you need a reference point, Tequila would fit nicely into Las Vegas Grind, though I'd suggest just grabbing those compilations, they're really great.

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Messer Chups release Taste the Blood of Guitaracula

Messer Chups - Taste the Blood of Guitaracula

Here's the latest from everybody's favorite Russian instro group. While their general sound isn't much different from their recent albums, it's not all draculas and coffins: you've got some pleasant steel guitar thrown into "Hula Drag-u-La", and you've even got a batman theme on "Chupacabra vs Batman". For whatever reason, we get another version of Popcorn with "Children of the Popcorn" (Zombie Shopping had "Popcorno"). I've listened to it a few times but all I really have to say is that it's Messer Chups -- you know what to do.

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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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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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