Yes, it’s surf month here at VG. There have certainly been some great releases in this genre in the past year or two. Myself and other writers at the magazine have featured the likes of Los Straitjackets, Laika and the Cosmonauts, Hillbilly Soul Surfers, and of course, the wonderful Cowabunga box set from Rhino. All of these would help you get into the craze along with the rest of us, as would these two new discs.
The Sandblasters are out of Austin, Texas, and feature the trio of Mart Stultz on guitar, Spencer Clarke on drums, and Chris Happel on bass. They play surf-inspired music with a twist. They also love those detective movie themes. So, stuff like “Wave King” shows off Stultz’ chops before breaking into a very James Bondish-sounding middle section. And stuff like “Naked Piranha” features it all. Spy movie music, surfin’ sounds, a very middle-eastern-sounding bit and more. “Oyster Wax” features the intro to “Secret Agent Man,” and ends with the riff from the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster.” Ya gotta love that. A fine CD with players obviously loving what they’re doing. Write to the Sandblasters at P.O. Box 80413, Austin, TX 78708-0413.
The Boss Martian have a bit of a hook, too. They’re not a straight surf band. They sound like a cross between surf, the Kingsmen, and Ronnie and the Daytonas. They feature some lovely cheesy organ, very cool ’60s-sound vocals on five cuts, and funny lyrics like “Long Hair Lenny.”
Singer/guitarist Evan Foster drags out some big ol’ fuzztone (“Hot Foot”), fleet right-handed picking (“Evil Martian”), he even recycles the solo from “Louie, Louie” (“She’s Creepy”). And, the packaging is very cool. Extremely reminiscent of album covers from around 1963. You can reach Dionysus records at PO Box 1975, Burbank, CA 91507.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s May ’97 issue.