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Wanna Dig Into Surf Music. Bongo Boy Records Gnarly Wave Volume Two By Various Artist
Hej America! The other day my friends at Bongo Boy asked me to give a listen to and share my thoughts about their new surf music compilation album Gnarly Wave Volume Two. Even in Sweden it is summer and who doesn't like the beach?? So with visions of Half Moon Bay, California in my head I cued up their latest release.
Bongo Boy Records Gnarly Wave Volume Two by Various Artists
Release Date: 7.14.17
1. Los Surfer Compadres - Eyes On The Market 3:05 - The song starts out with what sounds like the audio from a Spanish language movie. This is followed by the band laughing and then some classic surf guitar kicks in. There is no question the man can play the guitar! The drums and bass are locked in while both guitars go back and fourth. The organ fills the edges nicely and even steps up for a solo while the Spanish movie plays in the background. All in all, this is a really good effort!
2. Dylan McGuire - Hang 11 2:28 - I like the drum into. As an old drummer I kind of have a thing for big rolls. Dylan can definitely make so noise, but what really grabs my attention are the cool fills their drummer does while the guitar alternates with some muted chords before ripping into a shedding solo. This is a very good track. Well done guys.
3. Susan SurfTone - Subduction 2:20 - Ahh Susan SufrTone! I remember her from other Bongo Boy albums and I can say that I am a fan. I dig the bass line that hold this song together as the drummer alternates between a simple, yet rock solid beat and massive wipeout rolls. Then there is that smoking guitar. I find myself smiling and really grooving in time to the music. This is the kind of song that should be listened to in a red convertible driving down the Pacific Coast Highway.
4. The SpyTones - Somewhere in Siberia 3:52- I like the into. It is different from many other Surf songs. This song actually starts at a very slow tempo and reminds me of a 60s James Bond soundtrack. I really dig it. The Spy Tones are good players and it is nice to hear something a bit different from the standard Surf vibe. Well done guys and an A+ for creativity.
5. Les Fradkin , - Kick Sand 2:30 - My man, Les Fradkin - this is the guy who taught me that "New Age" music can be really good. Les, for that reason alone, you rank in the list of my favorite musicians. This song is anything, but New Age! I really like the sound his drummer is getting from the toms - thunderous, but not noise. Les, the guitar rocks, but it is your drummer I am listening to. The drums absolutely dominate. Make no mistake, the rest of the band is cranking out some fantastic sounds, but those drums simply OWN the track.
6. TarantinosNYC - Shindig 2:03 - Get ready for some old-school Surf. The guitar is cool and the organ just adds to the vibe. Just when I settle in to the groove I realize how outrageously fast yet clean the guitar is. His notes are crisp, it is only at the end of a phrase I hear a little whammy bar. These guys can rock.
7. 9th Wave -Surfin' with Poseidon 2:47 - Nice intro. I like the play between the guitars and the snare drum. I think their drummer has a little Punk in him. This is a very hypnotic song and my head is bouncing in time. I really like the descending chords that end with the drummer adding a short roll. Excellent song guys, very well done.
8. Agent Octopus - The Sun Chasers 2:42 - These guys get an award for a cool name! They should also get an award for musical ability. The guitar dominates, but it does so melodically. Granted, the bass is solid and as we hear during a short solo and with various fills, their drum-mer is no slouch, but I am really drawn to the very interesting guitar. I need to listen to this track again. It really grabbed my interest.
9. Tsunami Of Sound - Blue Fonda 3:17 - How can you not dig a band called the Tsunami of Sound?? Naturally, I immediately think of Phil Spector and the Wall of Sound. What I hear on this track is indeed a huge wave of sound that completely engulfs my brain. If Black Sabbath did Surf music it might sound something like this. This is just so cool!
10.Avante Gar - Apache 3:24 - Now this is cool! This is surf music for 2017. Is that drum
machine I hear or is he playing electronic drums? For some reason I am reminded of the early "alternative" bands such as Joy Division or even Bauhaus. The thing about this song is that, it is just so different from everything else. Yeah, I guess it is Surf, but to me it doesn't really fit the Surf mold. I had a similar feeling when I first heard Peter Murphy sing with Bauhaus, or when I first heard the Flock of Seagulls. Although these examples are musically quite differ-ent, the thing that they have in common with Avante Gar is that they were doing something no one else was doing at the time. Very cool guys, very cool.
11.The SpyTones - Rocketball 3:30 - The Spy Tones are back with another track and I like it. I dig the Sandy Nelson feel at the beginning. This song does have what I consider Surf overtones, but to me it is more of a rocking Swing song. There is no doubt these guys call all play and the whole Let There Be Drums groove makes my day.
12.The Derangers - Revenge of Chupacabra (!La Venganza!) 3:08 - Man, I love well used feedback. I am not sure, but I swear these guys are channeling the ghost of Jimi Hendrix. Granted, it is Surf and not Purple Haze, but the noise this band can make is just killer. I am impressed.
13.Susan SurfTone - Mint471 2:49 - Ms. SurfTone is back and I am glad she is. This band is just so talented, I can't get over it. I can just see their drummer with a big goofy grin as he wails and the guitar not only keeps up, but shreds. If you are a caveman who thinks women can't rock, get ready for the Enlightenment as Susan blows the roof off. Susan, I *really* want to see your live show!
14.The SpyTones - The 57 2:59 - The Spy Tones have contributed a third track to this dynamic album. I really like the groove laid down by the bass and drums at the beginning. How did they get that sound out of the drums? This track really sounds like a modified version of Wipeout with an added organ jam and more complex changes. All in all, I am really enjoying this song.
15.Los Surfer Compadres - Nairobi 4:37 - This time around the song starts with a news report in English of an alleged Holy Man appearing in Kenya. Then the blast hits and all thoughts of Buddahism or Maitreya vanish from my mind and I am captivated by the incredibly tight and fast music being played. The thing is there is a section of this song that I know I have heard before, but for the life of me I cannot remember where. Give it a listen and see if you can iden-tity that bit of the song. I don't understand the ending of the song in which it sounds like astro-nauts counting "1 2 3 4 5, 5 4 3 2 1 into death". In any case, whatever the purpose of the ending is, the music is very good.
So folks, the bottom line is if you dig Surf music this album is a must. If you want to stick your toe in the surf, then this is a good way to get started. This really is a good album. - The Grouch | Sweden
Buy Now: https://bongoboyrecords.com/gnarly-wave-volume-two/
Download Album: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/gnarlywavevoltwo