Spaghetti Western and surf have become closer and closer friends in the 2000's and onward, to the point where by now surf groups have taken the guitar parts of Morricone, broken them down and rearranged them so much as to have built their own vocabulary with them. What I'm saying is that while there's a recognizable Spaghetti Western sound to Los Tiros, nobody is mistaking them for a Sergio Leone soundtrack. It's much wilder, much less restrained, more horsepower (hee haw), more punk than...Read more
This is the debut album from The Syndicate, and it features a slew of covers from punk legends like the Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Seeds, The Dictators. Despite those clear influences, the resulting sound is definitely more surf than punk, full of reverb and twang and adding a brightness and spaciousness to songs that often didn't have them in their original form. If you didn't know what you were listening to, you might not even realized it's a cover the first time you hear it --and that's a...Read more
As far as I can tell this is the first non-demo release from Mexico's La Venganza de San Carlos. It's some good ol' no-bullshit high-energy surf with a punk influence. It's there to make a racket and hopefully get you to spasm a bit. Sometimes that's all I really want from surf -- that was often the case in the 60's, and even though it sounds different today there's still some people out there making the same unassuming but fun stuff. Give it a listen, have some fun, it's a free download!...Read more
Mike Barbwire has been busy with rockabilly outfit The Dragtones for a bit, and while there have been some good n crunchy instrumental bits for us to enjoy there, it's his work with The Barbwires/Blue Ocean Orchestra that really make me lose control. The Barbwires' Searider is a desert island disc for me, and the subsequent 7"s have been just as frenzied, lush, and memorable. So here's another one!
Here's what I know: it's a 7" on blue vinyl. It's on Sleazy Records, and it's...Read more
I believe this is the debut EP from Germany's Toxic Mutants. Fittingly, their sound is dirty and growling. It gets especially sludgy on "Formicula" and "Attack of the Killer Funghi", both of which culminate in a satisfying meltdown. Even their most upbeat tune has a dirty rumble to it. This all comes across very well thanks to time well spent in the studio, so that sludge is nice and crisp just how I like it.
Free download on bandcamp!
It's funny that the two surf albums I find today both have hand-drawn covers (the other being Los Pollos Caipiras). The wafflers are a pretty easy-going and upbeat trad group with a slight tiki influence. There's two vocal tracks on here that are probably more laid-back than the rest of it, as well as a uke track and a...Read more
More from Brazil! Here we have the debut EP from Los Pollos Caipiras: 6 originals with an aggressive, modern, semi-Astro-man sound. As much as I tend to go for the wilder songs like "Praia da Estação", I think the winner on this one is the bendy, lurching "Surfando na serra do cipó".Read more
The Aloha Sluts have a brand new 7" out on Tombstone Records Holland. It's got 4 songs on it and features some great-as-usual artwork from Shawn Dickinson. The only thing I've heard from it is from the preview below, but the rest of their material to date has been punchy and fun -- surfy enough for trad fans, but pretty loud too.Read more
Per Mutations has eight members listed. I'm not sure if that's all at once but their sound is diverse enough that I might think so. Surfing in the Phenomenal World has moments of reverby surfy-ness, but less than they suggest, with flashes of shoegaze, spaghetti western, maybe even some Tom Waits... all the while sounding pretty fun and cohesive. Reminds me a bit of The Tomorrowmen's Futourism in its non-pretentious adventurousness. A...Read more
If you've been listening to The Fathoms, you've been playing it safe! Ugh, sorry, I'm pretty sure this band has nothing to do with The Fathoms, these guys are out of Austin, TX playing horror-surf. While mostly comprised of originals, there's some choice covers of Famous Monsters, The Ghastly Ones, and MOAM. The gloomy, creepy guitars get charged up by some surprisingly explosive and eager drumming. If you're a horror-surf fan, point your ears this-a-way....Read more
I had recently been wondering what happened to noisy instrumentalist BRANKO, and after a four-year absense he returns! Not much different since then, 2 noisy weirdo instros. I hope this means there's more to come.Read more
Since my mind is on the Gremmy Awards lately, this is easily categorized into the "Rad" instro category, with distorted metal guitar tone 100% of the time, growling basslines, and a generally mean temperment -- in a fun way of course. I think the best marriage of these surf and metal sounds come through in "Unagi Tsunami", which is...Read more
This debut 7" from the German Quartet Braindead Dogs makes me think: in instrumental music you can attach your music to any kind of imagery. So why not more food rock? This food rock 7" sounds a lot like trad surf with a bright and bouncy sound that I could imagine being pretty fun in a live setting.
I believe this is finding its way to an actual 7" record later, but for now you can grab it on bandcamp.
Though they've been playing shows for a good while now, I believe this is the first release from this Italian trio (with an occasional 4th member joining for the trumpet). They have made it clear on their album and their facebook page that you should not follow the coyote, which I assume means you will fall off a cliff and into the Grand Canyon. I wonder if this is the famous roadrunner-chasing coyote. As for the actual music, trad surf with a sense of humor. A lil' bit of shredding in "...Read more
Noooo! Guys, you're too late to be included in the Best Album Art Gremmy! In any case, the cover art is a pretty good representation of the music inside: it's loud, fast and frantic, but also pretty silly, with some weird noises and instruments thrown into the mixture. The simple word for it is FUN. It's got serious force behind it but it doesn't wield it so seriously. Definitely worth a listen!Read more
I missed the debut album from this Italian quintet, so this took me by surprise. Diabolico Coupe play modern-traditional surf with sax and for the most part stick to the straight-and-narrow surf sound: no spy, Western, etc. That's fine, because they're very good at it. The guitars trade off between each other well enough to the point where I found myself tuning in and out of different guitar parts, listening to different layers of the sound. The sax is great, often adding an extra oomph when...Read more
I enjoyed Les Agamemnonz's debut 10". It had a good trad sound, a lot of very drippy reverb and a somewhat restrained energy that worked out well. They keep that up with Au Revoir, though they expand a bit. "Vulkanizer" (which really masters the thud from the Astronauts' "kuk") and "El Tremblador" are a bit more menacing than I remember from this band, and they pick up a wild west sound on the last three tracks. Tickling one of my favorite spots is "Tre Grazie", a great take on the Peruvian...Read more
Everything that The Tremolo Beer Gut has released so far has been quality from start to finish, and this is no exception. This is a live album, all one take or as their drummer put it to me "All is recorded on the same night and all we recorded ended up on the LP". And it sounds exactly like a live album ought to: crisp, all parts audible, energetic, and with the sound of the room clearly audible. They all sounded pretty faithful to the album versions to me, except with more hootin' and...Read more
B11 have a playful, experimental approach to surf, with an almost jazzy atmosphere to it. The wonky, showy guitar licks remind me of Double Naught Spy Car or even Shadowy Men. They pick up a bit with a more traditional surf song at the end with the title track "Surf My Spy". Give it a listen-see.Read more
This is the debut EP from this powerful Canadian quintet. The Gnarly Ones' aesthetic suggests a metal or punk influence, but this is pretty straight surf, maybe with a mean face on. They've even got a ballad in there with "Pontiac Sunfire", though the rest are loud, pounding, and dangerous. It's very well produced, sounds great when you turn it up, and the saxophone definitelty adds but doesn't overpower.Read more