Surf Music

New single: The Hula Girls || Tabou / Zombie Stomp

Californian ‘hulabilly’ outfit The Hula Girls – Shorty Poole (upright bass), Spike Marble (Gretsch guitar), Gary Brandin (steel guitar) and Doug Sanborn (drums) – have been bringing an attractive mix of instrumental surf, rockabilly and exotica to the stages for over fifteen years. Their Hibiscus Hula tune made it to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse soundtrack, but with this new 45 they prove once again that they can also score with more mature titles such as Tabou and Zombie Stomp. The former is an understated popcorn grinder, the latter is an uptempo and infectious floor filler. Oh boy!

Tabou b/w Zombie Stomp is out now digitally and on ‘leopard’ colored 7″ vinyl through Hi-Tide Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Hi-Tide

New album: X Ray Cat Trio || Live at the Jenny

Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, October 1 last year, El Nico (guitar, vocals), Howling Ric (drums) and Adam Richards (bass) took to the stage at the Jenny Lind Inn in Hastings Old town (UK), to round off the annual Property of the Lost weekender. We’re talking about West Yorkshire’s X Ray Cat Trio, who delivered 46 electrifying minutes of garage rockabilly, psych surf and doo wop. The show’s thirteen songs offer a fun overview of their back catalogue, including the title track from their amazing 2022 Haunted LP and a cover of Hava Nagila. A suberb set of tunes, inspired and memorable.

Live at the Jenny is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Property Of The Lost.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || PropertyOfTheLost

New album: The Hamiltones || In Space

The Hamiltones are a Buffalo, New York-based surf-punk outfit featuring John Toohill (guitar & more), Nick Reynolds (bass & more) and Chris Scamurra (drums), who channel their love of science fiction and horror in their music. They celebrate their tenth anniversary with the new full-length concept album In Space, that they themselves describe as “the soundtrack to an epic space opera, borrowing familiar themes and textures from mid-century sci-fi and superimposing them onto thoroughly modern surf rock.” The wonderfully performed 40-minute journey consists of 15 largely instrumental tracks, interspersed with layers of strings, horns, synths, theremin, samples and vocal ooos and aaas (enter Lucy Bell). From the cinematic overture that kicks off the record to a joking Elvis in the rolling Viva Los Space at the end, it is all fascinating and exciting what happens here.

In Space, mixed & mastered by John Angelo, is out now digitally and on 12″ vinyl through Swimming Faith Records and Big Neck Records. The first pressing of the LP comes exclusively with a 6 page insert and the Moon People 7″.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Coastal Surf Club || ​Final Round

Xiamen, in southwest China, has an emerging surfing culture, and of course that requires an exciting soundtrack. Leave that to Coastal Surf Club, the surf rock trio featuring composer Chen Zhenchao (guitar, vocals), Ji Wei (bass) and Huang Da (drums). Three years ago we wrote about their debut EP 難​忘​的​衝​浪​歌​曲 no​.​1, now they have released their first full-length album 最​終​回​ (translated: Final Round). The first six tracks are cinematic instrumental tunes, which are followed by two convincing songs with vocals (in English), of which the viciously rocking 輪迴 (Reincarnation) hits the hardest, also because the lyrics express the waves so clearly: “What goes around comes around // The judgment will come // Coming again and again under the sun.” Cool stuff.

最​終​回 is out now digitally via Fluorite Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of February 2024

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In February, you probably heard covers of Talking Heads’ Burning Down the House by Paramore, Edith Piaf’s La Vie En Rose by Nick Cave, Lou Reed’s Perfect Day (Piano Komorebi Version) by Patrick Watson, Van Halen’s Jump (If It Was Written For Millennials) by Alex Melton, Haruomi Hosono’s Boku Wa Chotto with Mac DeMarco and William Bell’s I Forgot To Be Your Lover by The Black Keys, and ourselves we wrote about new releases from The Drowns, Autogramm, The Weirdolls, The Devils, The Sleeveens, Gentleman Jesse and The Thing, respectively featuring cover versions of Mud’s Dyna-Mite, Nichts’ Licht Aus, Eddie And The Hot Rods’ Do Anything You Wanna Do, Cleo Randle’s Big City Lights, The Undertones’ Get Over You, The Saints’ Private Affair, Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack and Sonic Boom’s You’re The One (listen below)…

…but there was plenty more to choose from, and I think it’s more fun to share cover songs here that haven’t got the attention they deserve.

New album: The Eye Five || The Eye Five

The Eye Five are a surf rock outfit from Eugene, Oregon (US), featuring Danny Romero (guitar, bass, keys) and Jordan Vachal (drums, percussion). Last two years they successively released the Coast Ghost album, the Boogie Bones EP and the Creature Crawl EP, which have now been brought together on a self-titled CD by Greek label Surf Cookie records. The compilation contains thirteen original instrumentals that are as atmospheric and cinematic as they are melancholic and imaginative. Fresh but familiar, the ideal soundtrack for daydreaming about a sunny beach.

The Eye Five’s self-titled compilation is out now digitally and on CD through Surf Cookie Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Les Dynamites || Uzi Kinrot / Sea Gull

Ready for some Middle Eastern grooves? Jerusalem, Israel-based trio Les Dynamites return with a 45 featuring two funky instrumentals that sound happier than you probably would expect. Roy Bar-Tour (guitar, keys), Atzmon Avrahami (drums) and Adam Yodfat (sousaphone) mix Mediterranean and classic surf rock with Balkan and Yemini folk, a sound you don’t hear too often. On A-side Uzi Kinrot, named after guitarists Uzi Feinerman and Uri Kinrot from surf rock outfit Boom Pam, you’ll hear earworm melodies plus infectious handclaps and traditional shouts. B-side Sea Gull is a successful, more surfy tribute to Greek-Israeli guitarist/singer Aris San, just as exciting. If political leaders were half as unifying as these music, the world would be a better place.

Uzi Kinrot b/w Sea Gull, produced by Uri Wertheim, is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Batov Records.

Add to want list: Bandcamp

New album: The Meteoroids || The Meteoroids

The Meteoroids are a Southern California-based surf rock outfit featuring Jeff Carr (guitar), Brett Arnold (guitar), Rob Welch (bass), Chris Poage (organ) and Dave Irish (percussion), names you may know from Boss Fink or The Baffles. On their self-titled debut full-length you’ll hear thirteen rolling instrumentals, including covers of The Ventures’ The Swingin’ Creeper (abbreviated here to The Creeper) and Mono Men’s Phantom On Lane 12. Cinematic, exciting and summery, exactly as it was meant to be.

The Meteoroids’ self-titled LP, recorded & mixed by Jarrod Keith, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Los Abismos || That Surf Thing

This one has actually been around for a while, but the fact that Otitis is now putting physical copies on the market is a good reason to share it with you today. Plus, it’s never too late for That Surf Thing. We’re talking about the debut LP from Los Abismos, a Brussels-based garage rock trio featuring Eric St John on guitars and organ, his daughter Iris St John on bass, and Magic Nico on drums. (You’re right, you’ve heard these names before. In this line-up they also make up The Evil Fuzzheads and Iris and the Deadly Flowers*. Eric St John aka Eric Vanhoutte is known from The Vice Barons, The Ratboys, Thee Martian Boyfriends, and countless other bands.) Here they deliver instrumental surf rock songs that are just as exciting and exotic as their titles. Danceable, fun and cheerful.

That Surf Thing, written by Eric St John and produced by Sonic Spaceboy, is out now digitally, and soon on CD through Otitis Media Records. *Iris and the Deadly Flowers recently released their fine debut LP Don’t Believe In Witches, featuring twelve original tracks, partly new ones and partly reworks or newly recorded versions of older Iris tunes..

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Otitis

New EP: UV and the Rays || UV and the Rays

When it comes to surf rock covers of pop classics, the margin between cheesy and cool is often very narrow, so Toronto’s UV & The Rays added a dash of psych and a pinch of Khruangbin to the six tracks on their debut EP to get on the right side of the line. We’re talking about Yuval Aberman (guitar), Tal Davidson (bass) and Micah Sky (drums) and their instrumental versions of Starman (David Bowie), Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel), You’re The One That I Want (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John), Jealous Guy (John Lennon), Happy Together (The Turtles) and Chan Chan / Maria Maria (Compay Segundo / Santana). Sun-kissed, laid-back and entertaining. But more importantly: the three musicians may have taken away the lyrics, but they actually add surprisingly creative twists in their music.

The self-titled UV and the Rays EP, produced and mixed by Micah Sky, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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