Browsing Tag

Surf Rock

Rock roots wrap around a murder mystery narrative in Robbie Rapids’ single, Who Shot Them Down

Through his multi-faceted talent, Robbie Rapids recorded his four-decade-era-spanning nostalgic rock track, Who Shot Them Down, while recording his murder mystery audiobook, Arc Road, and instantly became more intriguing than Nick Cave.

With a similar cool yet roots-deep vibe to Left Lane Cruiser, Robbie Rapids and his bluesy take on College Radio Rock which comes with Beach Boys nuances will surely make an impression on the airwaves. Lyrically, it is impossible not to get immersed in the narrative that spins the tale of a murder mystery that happened in 1964 through Rapids’ high energy Americana rock vocals.

Who Shot Them Down will officially release on April 29th, 2022. You can check it out yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The LA alt-indie duo, Doxy, speak to the psychologically detached in their debut single, Autopilot

Doxy

“Autopilot” is the latest jazzy avant-garde feat of lo-fi surfy punk rock from the LA duo Doxy. It’s a refreshing reprieve from the earnest tracks that force your subconscious into a state of lament; Doxy’s playful yet pessimist flair mixed with their ability to offer something that is truly euphoric and endearing, make them utterly infectious. Autopilot should be on every Pavement fan’s playlist. The angularly off-kilter guitar notes are just absorbing – if not more.

They poured plenty of the LA sun into the synthy jangly bop-worthy track. The discernible sweet spot hits when they declare a “freak out” interlude and follow with an absorbingly obscure breakdown which allows you to truly appreciate the jazzy nuances in this hazily blissful defiance against depersonalisation and detachment.

Check out Doxy on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The trashy surf-punk powerhouse Astrokraut have launched their latest album, Trash Attack.

Any staunch Krautrock fans will definitely want to roll with the progressive punches in the latest album, Trash Attack, from the Germany-hailing garage/surf/punk powerhouse, Astrokraut.

With tauntingly ethereal female vocals that sit between Blondie and the B-52s and the frenetic furore in the complex time signatures in the guitars in the standout single, Invasion, you couldn’t ask for a better introduction to the outfit that formed in 2010 under the influence of Heavy Sabbath 70s sounds. If only more bands made that transition from assimilation to innovation.

A sense of chaos lends itself to plenty more than just the sonic textures in Invasion. It is practically a trashy surfy adaption of Fear and Loathing – and we couldn’t rate Astrokraut more for their fearless commitment to throwing themselves into their creativity completely. There’s no sense of pretence to be found here.

Astrokraut’s latest album, Trash Attack, is now available to stream in full via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

North Carolina’s Snatch the Snail are set to release their warped and wavy surf punk single, Sunk

Snatch the Snail

North Carolina’s most psychedelic retro surf outfit, Snatch the Snail, is set to release their warped and wavy alt-rock track, Sunk. Instead of sending you under as the track title suggests, the Avant-Garde nuances in the colourfully mellow track feed the dopamine with the same generosity of Pavement’s album, Brighten the Corners.

While the bent to the point of distortion guitar notes ring through plenty of wobbly echo and delay, the deadpan vocals sweeten the track that has all the hallmarks of a vibe-out playlist staple. With the experimentalism of Mike Patton and the punk surf vibes of Fidlar, it doesn’t take a genius why Snatch the Snail are thriving in their niche.

Check out Snatch the Snail on their website, Bandcamp and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sarah Rae tempts shadow sides to the surface in her surf noir single, Shadow Girl.

https://soundcloud.com/sarahraesings/shadow-girl

If April March had a deviously arcane side, her hypnotic rhythms would share the same maleficent magnetism as Sarah Rae’s latest single, Shadow Girl, which was orchestrated to tempt shadow sides to the surface.

The operatic harmonies interlace with the artfully tumultuous instrumentals, acting as a cascading anchor through the symphonic scores, disturbed dream-pop layers and surf rock noir style. Naturally, the Atlanta-based artist is one to watch. She’s by fair one of the most original artist’s we have heard in 2021.

Shadow Girl was officially released on November 11th; it is now available to stream on SoundCloud. The album from which the ethereally Avant single was taken is due for release in 2022.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

TD Hutton – Down Howe Sound; a dark and stormy surf rock debut

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/FoEhesSGavmBQ6VY7

‘Down Howe Sound’ is the  swaggy, dark surf rock debut from Canadian alt-rock artist TD Hutton, which immerses you in far darker water than what Dick Dale swept you up within. If you can imagine Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as a surf-rock outfit, you’ll get an idea of the sonic picture drawn in Down Howe Sound that pulls bleak and hostile inspiration from the Pacific Northwest seas.

Between the grumbling garage rock discord, macabre lyrics versed through whiskey-soaked vocals and the gorgeous shimmers of the Gretschy guitars, the track takes a visceral grip from multiple angles, making it impossible not to get caught up in this pornographic feat of surf rock.

Down Howe Sound is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Sleepy Palms shone the Cali sun into their debut shoegazy garage rock single, You’re Gonna Be Just Fine

Garage rock, surf rock and shoegaze entwine in the synthy debut single, You’re Gonna Be Just Fine, from the California-based pioneers, The Sleepy Palms. They shone plenty of Cali sun into the optimistic in spite of crushing dread soundscape that will allow you to imagine what the Verve could have been if it wasn’t always raining in Manchester.

Their clever hooks, captivating choruses, velvety smooth vocals and glassy synths are arresting from start to finish as the Sleepy Palms set an innocently amorous scene that celebrates fleeting intimacy.

The way the bitter-sweet lyrics “I never liked the taste of cigarettes, I just wanted to be around you, and after all this time there is nothing left, but I’m still so glad I found you” fall into the surf rock rhythms, shoegazey reverb and clean vintage garage rock tones left me feeling like I’d hit the aural jackpot. Enrichen your soul by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lazy Daze asks the question we’ve all been thinking with their surfy indie rock track, ‘What is Real?’

If the last 12 months have left you questioning the nature of reality, you’ll definitely appreciate the latest single from Lazy Daze that explores that very same existential question while carrying sweet yet sonic summer tones.

The LA-based artist, songwriter and producer cooked up a lofty indie jam that bursts with jangle-pop vitality, teases elements of indie post-punk and infuses modern elements of surf rock to stay true to his LA roots.

What is Real? is a mash of everything there is to love about Supergrass, the Beach Boys and Joy Division simultaneously unfolding around a deep questioning that never gives way to melancholy. Instead, Lazy Daze seems to take the Bukowski approach to life; laughing in the face of trepidation and chaos and inviting the listener to do the same.

What is Real? is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Darling Overdrive sprinkle some magical songwriting ‘Stardust’ with new EP ‘Cosmic Autumn’

Denver’s Darling Overdrive describe themselves as ‘rekindling the fire of late 20th Century Rock & Roll’. ‘Stardust’ initially has a little bit of a Goo Goo Dolls feel to it, opening up with some gently picked clean guitar over closed hi-hat sixteenths, before building, holding a little suspense before rocking out on the chorus with some nice staccato guitar chords and drum fills.

It’s reminiscent of The Calling, Hoobastank, or Lifehouse, that subtle blend of rock that’s an absolute shoo-in for acres of epic radio play right through the summer. That’s no criticism, either – it takes a very special kind of songwriting skill to maintain rock & roll credibility whilst generating mass-appeal, and to hit that perfect niche without falling into overblown Guns n’ Roses balladeering pomposity or Nickleback cheese takes some doing. Darling Overdrive seem to have done that effortlessly with ‘Stardust’, and the second track on the ‘Cosmic Autumn’ single ‘Surf’; top notch stuff.

Hear ‘Cosmic Autumn’ on Spotify; check out Darling Overdrive on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Heavy Salad have given ‘cult hit’ a brand-new meaning with their debut album “Cult Casual”

The debut album from Manchester’s finest soulfully-blessed Psychedelic trailblazers Heavy Salad has finally dropped.

Cult Casual hit record stores on September 25th and affirmed that the optimism that I’ve held since hearing their eccentrically resolving sophomore single Battery Acid in 2019 was entirely well placed.

Some records, you put on the turntable and know you’ll be apathetic about letting the needle hit it again. Others, you know you’ll delve right back in for the successive hits of emotion which manifested the first time around. Cult Casual is firmly in the latter camp.

Track 1, Death is a gentle Surf Pop easing into the colourful chaos which ensues in the form of their cult hit (in the most literal use of the phrase) Battery Acid. Track 3, The Wish is the feat of feisty grunge which blows every other Garage Rock artist in Manchester out of the water while simultaneously giving artists such as Dinosaur Jr a run for their money.

Track 4, Inner Versions carries the same bite as The Wish, but this time the playful angst is projected over punchy Indie Rock licks, leaving plenty of space for guitarist Rob Glennie to humbly unveil the virtuosic talent he’s been hiding all along. Track 5, Reverse Snake is Heavy Salad’s psych Rock scathing attack on the ideocracy which led us to Brexit. Arcanely, they actually succeeded in creating a high-vibe Anti-Brexit track.

Fans of Avant-Garde will be suitably enraptured in the album from Track 6 where the experimentalism truly starts to take hold. After you’ve enjoyed all the juicy Psych Pop earworms, it’s time to immerse yourselves in the unpredictable yet pragmatic progressive nature of High Priestess and This Song is Not About Lizards. Unapologetically, the tracks take seismic shifts in tone and ferocity, leaving you at the mercy of their rhythmic prowess and whatever celestial magic the Priestesses are serving up in the form of their intoxicating vocals.

Whichever plateau you’ve floated to with the former singles, Routine Dream will allow you to crash down to earth with the scuzzily confrontational track which serves an aggressive yet compassionate reminder that you’re probably living blind. Thankfully, there’s plenty of aural comfort in Slow Ride which will make sure that you’re in the best possible mindset for the evocative assault which follows.

The final track It’s OK to Bleed will break my heart over and over again. In a time where people are more likely to invest in bitcoin rather than their emotional intelligence, it’s utterly priceless. Straight from the intro, the tenderness rings through the guitar progressions, then, the vocal and lyrical empathy bring torrid emotions to the front but there’s plenty of solace to be found in the track which unravels as gospel for the impious.

In short, it’s a cosmic rollercoaster and easily up there with the best things to happen in 2020. Listen to it.

You can check out Cult Casual via Spotify & Bandcamp or you can (and you definitely should) treat yourself to a CD or vinyl copy of the album released via Dripped in Gold Recordings.

Review by Amelia Vandergast