Utilizing instrumental music as a form of therapy can provide its listener with the much needed soothe necessary to absolve the recent stress harboring inside said individual. Whether it’s relaxing to the symphonic masterpieces of Tchaikovsky or going the Linda Evans route by having a Massengill moment to the new age “wonders” of Yanni, music devoid of vocals can provide that much needed mental escape pod. This allows you to focus on the music itself, not some lyrical “message” being preached, or story being told. Depending on personal taste, the objective can be accomplished with the aforementioned genres of classical and new age, or even some ivory tickling. But while a Floyd Cramer album will work for some, it may not work for others, so fortunately there are other “instro-mental” avenues that can be explored to keep someone (like me) from being led away in a (los) straightjacket. And my preferred tuneful pharmaceutical of choice is that reverb-drenched category of rock ‘n’ roll known simply as surf. Dominated by electric guitars and characterized by the extensive use of the “wet” spring reverb, its legacy was born out of an elite class of talented musicians that included Dick Dale, Link Wray, the Ventures, the Chantays, the Lively Ones, the Surfaris, and the Challengers. Since the genre’s creation in the early 1960s, an extremely immense scene (primarily underground) has continued to exist and thrive, regardless of mainstream tastes. For an artist or band to immerse themselves in such a wonderfully retro concept, they are laying out the validity of the affection they have for such a non-commercial pursuit. Throughout the decades, surf has co-existed on the fringes of pop culture, as it continues to this day, showing no signs of extinction.
On July 14, Bongo Boy Records released “Gnarly Wave Volume Two”, their latest compilation featuring some of the most talented artists in the contemporary surf music scene.
Starting off this surf ‘n’ turf party platter are the luchador mask-adorning Los Surfer Compadres (from Mexico), who contribute two impressive, rocking tracks here, “Eyes On the Market” (the opener) and “Nairobi” (the closer). Pennsylvania native Dylan McGuire displays some fine Dick Dale-flavoring on his composition “Hang 11”, making one wonder if Mr. Eliminator himself didn’t conjure this one up. Susan SurfTone enters the fray, proving that gals can surf (rock) just as well as the guys. Two killer tracks from Susan are included here, “Subduction” and “Mint471”. Next comes the SpyTones, hailing from central MA, giving us a trio of tracks that cover a spectrum of moods. “Somewhere In Siberia” is a slower, laid-back affair, “Rocketball” is a way cool jazz/surf mash-up, and “The 57” is a rump-shaker that’s got “classic” written all over it. Coming in with a BANG! is former “Beatlemania” cast member/guitar virtuoso Les Fradkin with his “shoot first-ask questions later” pounder “Kick Sand” which kicks more than just sand. The awesomely-named TarantinosNYC (from Astoria) crash the luau with their dance-til-you-drop number “Shindig”, which keeps upping the coolness quotient of this album. The sublime Tsunami Of Sound take their passion for “everything but the kitchen sink” instrumental influences and deliver their tsunami of perfection with “Blue Fonda”, which already has yours truly concocting a tropical cocktail of the same name (I’ll keep you posted). Avante Gar, aka the legendary Gar Francis (of one of my all-time fave garage rock bands, the Doughboys) provides one of the most interesting tracks on this comp with his techno-surf rendition of “Apache”. Also appearing on this disc are Agent Octopus, The 9th Wave, and The Derangers making this release a must-have for surf music aficionados the world over. So throw on a grass skirt, serve those Mai Tais, and play this album…Summer’s still here…
Los Surfer Compadres: “Nairobi”
Dylan McGuire: “Hang 11”
For more information on Dylan McGuire including the latest news and tour dates, visit his website.
The SpyTones: “The 57”
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Les Fradkin: “Kick Sand”
Tsunami Of Sound: “Blue Fonda”
Susan SurfTone: “Mint471”
To purchase “Gnarly Wave Volume Two” directly from Bongo Boy Records visit their order page on the official website.
For all of the latest news and release dates from Bongo Boy Records visit their page of Facebook.