Browsing Tag

Surf Rock

Captain Birthday and the Undertaker seduced Lady Luck with the subversive sonics in ‘Scratch Ticket’

Scratch Ticket by Captain Birthday and the Undertaker is an audaciously infectious track that defies conventional rock iconography with its inventive fusion of genres and wildcard thematic lyricism. Just as scratch tickets symbolise unpredictability, this song embodies that same quality through its musical composition. It’s not often that the worlds of gambling and rock n’ roll intersect in such a literal sense, but this duo has taken the challenge head-on, spinning the concept into an auditory spectacle.

From the nostalgia of surf rock to pivots of electrifying rock riffs which cut through the mix, commanding attention with their raw energy to the embracing of atmospheric post-punk tension, Scratch Ticket, from the band’s eponymous debut EP, delivers all that and more to ensure each transition resonates like a new scene in a play; an unveiling of a different mask worn by the same enigmatic character.

At the heart of this song is the chemistry between Jean-Michel Letalon and Andrew Vogts, who are the creative engines behind Captain Birthday and The Undertaker. Letalon, with his rock opera sensibilities and a vocal style reminiscent of the early 2000s New York City rock scene, delivers lyrics with an intriguing blend of drama and nonchalance. Vogts, “The Undertaker,” brings his classical music expertise into the realm of hard rock with electric violin arrangements that add a layer of sophistication to the track.

Scratch Ticket becomes a metaphor for the band’s journey — a gamble on the fusion of their varied influences, betting on the listener’s willingness to embrace the unexpected. The result is a song that’s both a tribute to rock’s past and a bold step into its future.

Stream Scratch Ticket with the rest of Captain Birthday and the Undertaker’s EP via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

BreakTime got all revved up in their 60s pop-rock single, Motor City Mama

If you wanna grease the wheels of your 60s pop-rock playlists, the latest single, Motor City Mama, from the illustrious nostalgia peddlers BreakTime, will get you all revved up with the Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies and the bright guitar melodies that burst with vintage flair. Hitting play is like stepping into a parallel universe where Brian Setzer managed to work his way into the Beatles.

The New Jersey-hailing outfit started as a cover band before they started to nod towards their favourite eras and artists in their original music rather than assimilate them, which is exactly how BreakTime acquired their amalgamated sound that emanates rockabilly, sixties pop, blues rock and surf rock.

Even though the prodigal sons of vintage rock n roll switch up their sound between their releases, upbeat harmonies, technical skill and arresting showmanship always come as standard.

Motor City Mama is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

A Hilariously Divine Ride: ‘He Wiped Out for Our Sins’ by Springbo

“He Wiped Out for Our Sins” by Springbo takes us on a comical and catchy surf-rock journey that will leave you smiling and tapping your feet. This delightful tune playfully combines humor and religious references in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

From the moment the song begins, Springbo captures our attention with their infectious surf-rock sound. The upbeat rhythm and lively guitar riffs create an atmosphere of pure fun and adventure. It’s hard not to be swept away by the song’s energy and enthusiasm.

The song takes an unexpected turn halfway through with a dreary guitar solo that adds a touch of melancholy to the otherwise light-hearted track. This momentary shift in tone serves as a clever juxtaposition, reminding us that even in the midst of laughter, there can be moments of reflection and introspection.

However, just as quickly as it veers into the solemn, “He Wiped Out for Our Sins” swiftly returns to its upbeat surf-rock sound, reigniting the infectious energy that had us hooked from the start. This rollercoaster of emotions showcases Springbo’s versatility as musicians and their ability to seamlessly transition between different moods.

“He Wiped Out for Our Sins” by Springbo is a masterfully crafted blend of comedy, surf-rock, and religious allusions. With its catchy melodies, humorous lyrics, and unexpected twists, this song is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and a bounce to your step. So grab your surfboard, embrace the laughter, and let Springbo take you on a hilariously divine ride.

Ride the indie surf rock waves in Louis Janus Thomas’ latest single, Auspicious Momentum

The North Wales-hailing one-man powerhouse of indie surf rock innovation, Louis Janus Thomas, has made a riptide-roaring return to the airwaves after his 2020 EP with his frenetically clever single, Auspicious Momentum.

With the vox and tinges of the melodic work throwing us back to the glory days of Razorlight and the heat of the Cali surf energy emanating the same zany appeal as Heavy Salad, Auspicious Momentum stands as a testament to how much Louis Janus Thomas has refined his sound since he last rode the crux of the airwaves. It’s only a matter of time before he’s on the A-lists of BBC Radio 6 DJs. The single can easily be read as one of the most innovative evolutions from the garagey indie sound pioneered by the Strokes.

Auspicious Momentum was officially released on June 2nd; check it out on Spotify and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Surfs Up in DM Street’s 60s Pop Rock Sonic Serotonin Supply, Taxi Ride

Providing a soundtrack you will want to twist and jive to, the first single, Taxi Ride, from the forthcoming LP Summer Songs for the Mustard Ear, from the 60s-inspired indie artist DM Street is a surf-rock-meets-psych-pop dream.

No fans of the Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Monkees and The Beatles will be immune to the disarming charm of Taxi Ride, which comes with an optimal pinch of roguish tongue-in-cheek swagger around the serious talent that contorted the colourful sun-soaked melodies.

If you’ve had your fill of ego and pretence-driven rock, Taki Ride will all too gladly transport you to a more altruistic aural destination; with this hit on your playlists, your uber trips will never be the same again.

Taxi Ride is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NOODLE ARMS cling to autonomy on the surf rock waves in ‘Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Be Me’

If Pixies had spent more time in the Cali sun with the Beach Boys, Doolittle would have undoubtedly unfurled with the surfy grooves and psych-pop harmonies found in the latest single, Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Be Me from the Tel Aviv-based outfit, NOODLE ARMS.

The alt-indie pioneers founded in 2014, before morphing through a myriad of line-up changes and monikers before settling on this solid powerhouse of surf-rockers. On the basis of their latest release, it is safe to say that they’ve found the winning formula. Reminiscences aside, this sun-bleached call for respect over idiosyncratic autonomy wiggles right into the soul and sets up camp.

Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Be Me is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tommy Freed and the Sound laments his ‘Waste of a Summer’ in his surfy no-wave anthem

The solo artist Tommy Freed and the Sound treated the airwaves to another off-kilter burst of violent optimism with his latest single, Waste of a Summer. The high-energy amalgam of sunny surf rock, garagey power pop, no-wave and ska is a subversive sonic palette for the titular entropy, but we certainly aren’t complaining.

The anthemically discordant hit perfectly encapsulates the bitter regret which creeps in with the colder weather that allows you to retrospectively lament your summer existence being leagues apart from the narrations in the plastic pop tracks. Ironically, Waste of a Summer is just as catchy as those try-hard hits endeavour to be; better yet, it doesn’t leave you with any FOMO.

Waste of a Summer was officially released on September 22nd. It is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lucifers Beard roll with the surf-rock punches in their latest punk-rock single, The Guy With A Black Eye

Frenetic alt-rock cavorts with the waves of surf-rock and rolls with the punches of punk rock in Lucifers Beard’s twisted spaghetti western single, The Guy with a Black Eye.

After hearing it, I’m not so sad about the disbanding of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. The dynamically tumultuous track was mastered by the deft touch of Ed Ripley, who has previously worked with NOFX, Frank Turner, and Goat Girl. If there is any justice left in the industry, Lucifers Beard will receive the same amount of acclaim as all of the aforementioned.

Short of sticking a fork in the toaster, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more electrifying sensory experience than this animated feat of ingenuity.

The Guy with A Black Eye is due for release on October 7th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

60s garage rock rides surf rock waves in The MindRide’s latest single, Delta Alpha

The MindRide

Even at half the length of your average pop track, the nostalgia-driven duo, The MindRide created the ultimate LA proto punk bop with their latest single, Delta Alpha, which grooves with nuances of skate punk and surf-rock and comes together as the ultimate genre-fluid earworm.

With The Walkmen-Esque percussion falling slightly below the warm and crunchy overdriven guitar tones and the relentless momentum in the vocals, getting caught up in the punky euphoria of Delta Alpha is non-optional. Especially for fans of The Kinks, The Strokes, and The Sonics. With their 5th album in the pipeline, The MindRide deserve a spot on your radar.

Check out The MindRide on their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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