| Planet Surf|
A Compilation of Contemporary California Surf Music
The Ultras Make their music the old-fashioned way...they play it. They work in smoky night clubs. They go on tour. They steal ash trays and towels from second-rate motels. Fine young Americans, these Ultras. They describe their music as surf/pop/sludge. Surf/pop/sludge? Is that some kind of joke? We don't think so. These are three guys with one huge sound. The Aqua Velvets
"Martini Time" and "Hawaiian Blue"...the nouveau surf originals of the Aqua Velvets. The dark side of cool; as smooth and supple as their name implies but possessed of a wicked edge. I mean, when James Bond goes surfing this is what it sounds like. How did four San Fransisco boys get this hip? Who knows? Maybe they were born that way. Maybe five years of playing live in every grungy dump with a stage had something to do with it. Who cares? Some things just are. The Mermen
"We're not happy ponytails boppin' in the sand" says Mermen bassist Allen Whitman. "We use surf music as a springboard". Yes, they do. And they spring right into a parallel universe. This is surf music for the 21st century; for riding the ripples in space-time; for shooting the curl through the Van Allen radiation belt straight into a black hole. The Eliminators
When the Eliminators take the stage and tear into a butt-kicking rendition of "Baja" or "Church Key", two things are abundantly clear: a) they're having fun and b) so is the audience. The reason for this is that the Eliminators make no bones about who and what they are: five noseriding longboarders who wish like hell it was 1962 again. They play Fender guitars through Fender amps, they do choreographed steps on stage and they waste a lot of time looking for $.29 gas. They also write great songs. The Sandals
While playing the Southern California surf music circuit during the 60's, the Sandals worked with Leo Fender in developing the Bandmaster guitar amp. In 1964 they wrote and recorded the soundtrack for Bruce Brown's "The Endless Summer". As "The Endless Summer" helped define the surf film genre, so did the Sandal's rythmically though, yet melodic style help define surf music...Today the Sandals still rock so hard it's frightening. "Ooo-la-la", a track they wrote for the movie "Endless Summer II", reveals a band that's undergone a lot of growth, but which has remained true to its root.
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