Surf sounds, now at Global Texan.
by Kt Emmerson
A Dick Dale sandwich fully loaded, Doors in the middle, with a side of Ska. Order up! The Buttertones will have you very saucy and swinging with their 2017 release, Matador. And their frontman, Richard Araiza is sexier than Jim Morrison, with a little Keanu Reeves thrown in. Check out Mr. Araiza in all his live stage glory at Amoeba Records. The guitarist number 1, Sean Redman is a love child of River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton (with the looks favoring Phoenix). These guys are not your cousin’s wanna-be garage band over reverbing with slight being the operative word to describe their musical talent. The Buttertones are completely ready for their close up, Mr. DeMille. Don’t bother trolling LA’s vintage and retro stores, these guys have acquired all of the prime duds and equipment. Solidly studied in the garage, psychedelic, surf, lounge, and ska (to name just a few of the sounds you will recognize) styles, they are like a Swede driving a Volvo or Salary-man on a bullet train. In other words, it’s in their blood, they were born to do this.
The Allah-Las formed when several members were working at Amoeba Records. Damn, they got the market on youthful musical fringe talent. Who says all the cool people in SoCal are moving to Austin? There’s obviously a few grommets riding in on the sweet surf resurgence. I haven’t heard such ooey-gooey surf gazing sounds this sensuous since Friends of Dean Martinez or even Chris Isaak. This forty minute LP will keep you spellbound, gripped in an endless summer stupor. I spent a solid day suspended in a Holiday Inn, embracing the slow minutes ticking by reminding me I was childless for the next 24 hours. It was truly delicious, and I know you need a little trip to la la land this season, right?
I’ll give a few more that I totally think are worth mentioning in your psychedelic sun search.
The Bambi Molesters These Croats know a wicked surf riff like no other eastern bloc band; dark, expert Stratocaster echoes evoking sweet goth dreaminess with your cosmonaut worshipfulness. Thunderbirds Are Go!
The Eliminators have, in their 20 years playing the SoCal circuit, kept the beach bonfire going and inspired the Hollywood youngsters to start a new wave of grinding (did you catch all of those double entendres?)
With the Blue Stingrays, there’s a reason this older release sounds a little alt-country/rockabilly: they are a-one-album-wonder made up of The Heartbreakers, as in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. You can assume solid sounds.
Surf music lovers are not complete until they have seen Deadbolt live, not only for the epic theatrics of Harley Davidson (think power tools and sparks, not kidding) but also for their “Wall of Thunder” double bass intensity.
Even if you can’t hit the waves at least you can be stoked by these gnarly surf inspired bands (I’m sorry, was that too much?). And if you don’t like them, well “Go F-Yourself”, as Harley would say.
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