We are gathered here as worshippers of the vibrations of the guitar string, but stand before you today telling you that good surf music can be made with the guitar firmly relegated to a supporting role. Many of you may be quick to cry heretic, but the elders know that the saxophone was once a very respected rock & roll instrument, including in the surf realm.
The saxmanship displayed here is, I think, palatable to even the most skeptical surf fan as the energy remains at peaking high. I’m not going to give him all the credit though, as the drumming is especially outstanding and punchy and can switch from surf beat to punk drumming seamlessly and in such a way that neither of those styles sound reductive. It’s a distinctly surf record with a punk energy and to some that grew up with a ska phase I can see this feeling like a missing link that you’d expect to hear more of.
Now that I’ve made a hoopla about the lack of guitar, I’ll relent and say that it’s a lot more present right around track 4, a point at which the whole album cools down a bit. They do get a little nastier with the guitar on “Exotica” right at the end and to be honest I think the guitar could stand to speak up a bit more there -- it’s good stuff but it feels a bit less in-your-face than it ought to.
This is a very fun album though and the first few tracks in particular are knockouts. As far as I can tell this is only on bandcamp right now, give it a listen!