Post date: 05/19/2023 - 07:43
The Desolate Coast entered the surf scene as a new project of Eric Cranfield of Seattle's , and that legacy echoed into the new band. Though Desolate Coast were certainly different, there were similarities in their guitar sound, their grasp of mood, and appreciation of misty pacific northwestern landscapes and grayscale-plus-pink displayed on album covers.
It's hard to say...Read more
Post date: 05/18/2023 - 15:27
After feeding myself a pretty ample helping of Bomboras while writing , it was pretty nice to jump from such a high energy level to one that could compete! The Obsidians aren't exactly high profile: No label, simple album art, basic online presence, I believe they don't have members from previous surf bands, and I don't see them mentioned in...Read more
Post date: 05/13/2023 - 11:14
The Bomboras were a standout group of the 90's surf revival, bolstered by a wild live show (not that I ever saw it) and a little extra visibility from one of their albums being released on Rob Zombie's label. Their sound was loud and savage, full of wild energy without adopting overt punk influence, sticking with fuzz over distortion and letting the organ do a lot of the talking. They called it quits in the year 2000.
These records were good, but I wouldn't say that any were can't-...Read more
Post date: 04/07/2023 - 08:11
Today is Bandcamp Friday which means Bandcamp doesn't take a cut (but Paypal still does) and more money goes to the bands. That makes it a nice time for me to pick out a handful of primo recent surf releases for your spending spree.
Normally these only cover the last month, but this is the first of these that I've done this year between Gremmy Awards, finger surgery, and as I'm writing this, Norovirus, so I'm going to stretch out a little further. The March output...Read more
Post date: 04/05/2023 - 15:39
The nice thing about being part of a small genre is that reunions are often as low-stakes as starting the band in the first place. It's not like they had to run the numbers to see if a big tour would be financially worth the effort. From I gather from the liner notes, they went on hiatus to devote more time to families and life stuff, played a few shows over the years on special occasions, and then started jamming during the pandemic and thought "this is nice". No big engineered comeback, it...Read more
Post date: 03/24/2023 - 09:07
Previously as part of the Gremmy Awards I released a big list of every surf release that I had come across in the past year. This year I decided to keep it as a rolling, consistently updated list. It's less fun at the end of the year, but it's more helpful this way.
A few things to note:
- Must have been released in 2023.
- Inclusion on this list does not mean that I've listened to it.
- Exclusion from this list could mean I don't know about it, that I haven't...Read more
Post date: 03/18/2023 - 10:53
Daikaiju have been around for 20 years and in that time have performed... I'm gonna take a conservative guess and say 2000 shows. And yet in that span they've only released three albums. That isn't a suggestion that they should *do more*, because they're about as active as any band I know, it's just surprising. Truth be told, rarely during a Daikaiju show do I think "here's my jam!" because not only is it often loud enough to be hard to pick them out, but chances are between bizarre audience...Read more
Post date: 11/04/2022 - 07:50
After last month's relative dearth of new surf releases, sure enough October picked up the pace, accelerating towards Halloween day. And sure enough there were a ton of releases on that day. Stop doing that. Anyway, shall we unwrap some leftover Halloween candy?
These are in no particular order. There were some great singles as well from the likes of Surf Hermits, Atomic Drag, Surfrajettes and others, but in the interest of time I gotta leave them off and focus on...Read more
Post date: 10/15/2022 - 16:12
I've really been struck by how many fantastic surf releases this year, and every time I reflect on this I've reminded myself that there are a few looming releases threatening to crash my mental list of favorites. Any Satan's Pilgrims release holds that promise, but this is a particularly meaningful one as it's the last one that will feature their classic lineup with their late guitarist Dave Busacker who passed away in March 2021.
While aspects of the production of this album were...Read more
Post date: 10/07/2022 - 08:24
Today is Bandcamp Friday and for once I started writing this up earlier than last minute... but unfortunately this has been one of the slowest release periods of the year!* I guess that makes it easier for you to buy ALL of these great releases that came out in the past month.
Of course, this drought is basically over as of today. There's records by Los Atarrayas, The Jagaloons, Zak & the Krakens, The Dreadtones, Magnatech, singles by Black Flamingos,...Read more
Post date: 09/01/2022 - 14:26
It's been forever since the last Bandcamp Friday roundup I've done and there have been a whole ton of excellent surf releases. Unfortunately this one lands in the middle of a vacation with little internet or even time availability. But I've got a bit of a window to do something here, so I'm going to highlight as many as I can before my son finishes his nap or this laundry gets done. I'm really going to try to focus on quantity of reviews over quality, though the whole point is that the music...Read more
Post date: 08/25/2022 - 13:35
I'm writing this review of Wave Electric immediately after reviewing The Wave Chargers simply because I find the juxtoposition of their names funny.
They're a band that I had underestimated. Their previous EPs and singles were cool, but not necessarily enough to get too excited over. But Art at MuSick Records usually seems to know what he's doing, and when I saw their pre-release LP at the SG101 Convention that trust in him, combined with the record-buying
Post date: 08/25/2022 - 13:29
The Wave Chargers made a big impression on me with their intial handful of EPs. Raw and lo-fi traditional surf recordings. There's nothing particularly unique about that, but they did it well, and in particular some of their covers brough out a viciousness missing from the originals -- that's not to say they did it better than the bands themselves, but I think we sometimes forget that even the classics might have been a little stiffer from studio stagefright.
Then their debut LP felt...Read more
Post date: 06/10/2022 - 13:33
The Manakooras are not what you think they are.
Comprised of Jeremy from The Aqualads, Ted Pilgrim, Brian and Gary from the Intoxicators, Tim from the Reverburritos and others, this is not a surf supergroup. This is an exotica group, and there's even less noticeable surf guitar than on previous releases they've done. Don't approach this like Tikiyaki Five-O, expecting surf covers of exotica, this is exotica enough that the surf musicians are really my only excuse for reviewing it. It...Read more
Post date: 06/05/2022 - 08:19
I have some old EPs from The Hang-Ten Hangmen dating back to 2010, playing trashy lo-fi surf with a bit of a dark edge to them. They turned that around with their much more bright and bouncy EP "Destination Saturn", which had some great expensive-sounding production and beach party vibes. They followed that up in 2018 with their LP "This is Boss", which doubled down on the party feeling with big foot-stomping vibes, sax, and keeping guitar tones fairly clean.
Post date: 06/04/2022 - 07:19
The Del-Vipers shot out like a rocket with their debut LP Terror of the Del-Vipers, then carried that momentum onto the more musically diverse EP Cannibal Safari. So you might be a little a little startled by how unstartling this album starts: with with friendly, sweet Shadows-ey guitar. On their second LP, The Del-Vipers have crafted a much more global, expansive sound that does more than just rip... but also still rips.
Their Cannibal Safari ...Read more
Post date: 06/03/2022 - 08:39
Well I thought today would be Bandcamp Friday. I typed up this whole article and then checked i and apparently the next one is in September. It's nice to have a roundup of reviews anyway. Here's some notable stuff to come out since the...Read more
Post date: 05/25/2022 - 16:08
I'm glad I caught this one, as the name doesn't exactly scream surf. I mean, maybe you knew that Mary Ann Hawkins was . Maybe you knew about their two previous EPs (one on...Read more
Post date: 05/17/2022 - 16:42
I remember when Northwest surf guardian Thom Head said I needed to listen to this local Seattle band The Delstroyers, and made sure I got a copy of their first EP. I remember hearing it and thinking he wasn't kidding. Since then it's been a lot of fun watching them go on to do bigger things. They released a blast of a debut LP, put out a cool 7" on Hi-Tide, and I've seen them play on two US coasts -- my then-unborn son even started kicking along to a pre-SG101 show, the first time he'd done...Read more
Post date: 05/11/2022 - 17:06
As global as the surf scene is today, I feel like we only get glimpses of what's happening in Japan. You hear about how tiny villages have "Ventures" bands, we know about eleki, Surf Coasters, and from what I hear it's a great place to tour playing surf music -- with all that in mind there must be more than the likes of The El Caminos, The Royal Fingers, Mach Kung Fu, 184.108.40.206's, Toni OK, Rat Holic, The Routes, Lulufin the Woohoo and Switch Trout. After all, those bands are all REALLY GOOD....Read more