Saturday, February 27, 2016

Southern Surf Stomp! presents Ouroboros Boys, McPherson Struts, MOONBASE

Much like February's Stomp, we have another StompFest favorite returning on March 13th.  Asheville's Ouroboros Boys are bringing their mandolin lead, classic surf sound with a bit of a dreamy vibe to Kavarna.  Having recently release their first official 7" single and music video, these guys are going to be hitting the pavement hard this year and we're proud they've chosen to make Atlanta one of their stops.

Speaking of hitting the pavement, not many bands do it harder than Alabama's McPherson Struts.  The trio is a well oiled rock 'n' roll machine performing loud and gritty music infused with country, punk, rockabilly, metal, and much more.  Their leader is the lovable Buck McPherson, who sings and plays the drums whilst standing.

Atlanta's number one progressive surf instrumental combo MOONBASE will be returning to the Stomp for the first time since the release of their debut record "Creation Myths" in August of 2014, their first show since September.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Genki Genki Panic - "Ghoulie High Harmony" REVIEWS

Rue Morgue #157

Echoing the mondo-weirdo retro vibe of spook n surf greats The Ghastly Ones and Satan's Pilgrims, Chattanooga TN's Genki Genki Panic revels in reverb soaked instrumentals that reference the macabre with cheeky winks and nudges, and competent, inventive instrumentation. With an exotic, tiki meets belly dance rhythm and Carpenter-esque solos, "Camp Crystal Lake" re-envisions Friday The 13th as a 60's spy thriller directed by Quentin Tarantino circa 1996, while "976-EVIL" thrills more with its uptempo I'm-being-stalked-by-something-terrible urgency than the song's namesake movie ever could. Featuring sly titles such as "HPV Lovecraft", "The Spectrophiliac", and "Your Body Is A Wasteland", plus attitude and atmosphere to spare, Ghoulie High Harmony will bring all the ghost in invisible bikinis down to your horror hangout.                      Rating 4 out of 5


First off, not the music I had expected that serial misanthrope and friend of the blog, Chris (last name withheld for legal reasons) would come out with as the follow up to the criminally underrated Uncle Touchy's scraping hardcore noise rock. Second off, I underestimated just how great of a guitar player Chris really is...dude can work it out.
So, just what exactly IS this foreign and unexpected music? Try, instrumental surf rock with a pronounced horror theme and a darker influence. Like, if Link Wray was paying tribute to the golden beaches of southern California, Genki Genki Panic is paddling out in the muddy toxic soup of southern New Jersey. No tiki dolls and girls in bikini's, unless it's the Bride of Frankenstein choking out Gidget in the shore break.

What I like the most on this record is that you can tell the band has punk roots, and you hear the Agent Orange, or Rocket From The Crypt styled frenetic energy pulsing out of each serpentine guitar run. On the surface, it's good time fun music, cowabunga and all that, but just below the water line there's a scum covered sea monster lurking to pull you off your board and into the black depths.
Beyond your Dick Dales, and Ventures, and Duane Eddy's and the aforementioned Dick Dale, I'm not too versed in this music, so I'm not sure if there isn't an underground current that Genki Genki Panic have tapped into. Probably is I suppose, but for someone who doesn't usually listen to it, this record is an adrenaline shot that I found highly enjoyable. It's no novelty, it's legit shit.
Also, points for the Boyz II Men reference.


Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy the aesthetics of Halloween way more than Christmas, which is why there’s Genki cover (3)usually some ghoulish decoration still lingering around the home come January. I no longer pretend it’s laziness. I’ll just admit my weakness for most things creepy. So when Genki Genki Panic sent me their musical (s)care package I had the warm fuzzy feeling of abject terror go through my veins.

Genki Genki Panic are another really fun, landlocked, instrumental surf rock band. From Chatanooga, Tennessee, this band is perfect for your haunted tiki bar and related witchy goings on.
“The Munge” is all muscle and brawn, throwing elbows as it pushes through a crowd before taking on all comers in a bare knuckle free for all. “Drag the Lake” is a hang ten, classic drop in sort of surf number. “Camp Crystal Lake” references the Friday the 13th film franchise and is nice for being more restrained. It holds tension and swells and pulses like your heartbeat as you wait to scream “Don’t go in there!” in a crowded theater. “Your Body is a Wasteland” drives and moves like a zombie chomping down and getting it’s first taste of brains. The punkishly quick “976-EVIL” is my favorite track. Two catchy riffs and a driving rhythm propel this forward with God knows what on your heels, but you don’t dare look back.

This two man act from the spooky hollers (suburbs?) of Tennessee bear considerable watching. For one they’re really good. And for two, they are up to no good. Let’s hope they continue to entertain the dark and nepharious thoughts which have clouded their minds and brought them to this point. And may this mental unrest continue to plague them for a long time to come.



Chattanooga-based Genki Genki Panic has carved out their own corner in an already niche genre. With just two members—“Chancho” and “El Fatsquatch”—Genki Genki Panic produces a quirkily fun album that wades around in the dark and strange, but still occasionally meanders into the sunlight for a breath. All in all, Ghoulie High Harmony is an album I’d never expect to hear in 2015—because sometimes you forget about a type of music. But Genki Genki Panic’s Ghoulie High Harmony is here to make you remember.

The album is filled with song titles like “HPV Lovecraft” and “Sexting the Dead” that give it that eerily playful feel. The song I’m most immediately drawn to is “Camp Crystal Lake.” The staccato guitar rhythms are mirrored by the bass, and a dark dissonance plays on top of the whole thing. The drums sit in the back with hi-hat grooves and interwoven tom-toms.

“Camp Crystal Lake” is the only song on the album with a guitar solo, and even that only lasts for half a minute, but it feels great in the midst of the riff-laden album.

Ghoulie High Harmony is a strong first effort by Genki Genki Panic. The album is uniform in purpose and precise in execution. Reigniting the surfer-rock genre with a classic horror movies twist is something that’s not been done before, and these guys are doing it well.

The album is quick, dark and fun. Here’s hoping Genki Genki Panic transfers their album efforts to a live stage—Halloween’s not too far away.


Genki Genki Panic makes "instrumental horror surf," or so their Bandcamp page would have you believe. True to their word, that's exactly what you get when you listen to their new release, "Ghoulie High Harmony," which the band released in March (there was also a "director's cut" of the album released in April). From the page's Universal Monsters picture and video game backdrop, you get the feeling that the band doesn't take themselves too seriously, though the music never comes across as half-formed or haphazardly constructed.

Spiked with rippling surf riffs and a thudding percussive backbone, this record feels simultaneously self-contained and expansive, as if the music were wound tightly around a series of nimble rhythms but loosened with just a quick flick of a guitar pick, sending jagged shards of guitar lines and chest-rattling drums off in all directions. It's easy to get lost in all the quick detours and back alleyways that the band drags you through, but in no time, you're back on the main road, looking in the rearview mirror and wondering what just happened.


What makes good surf music? Is it enough to be competent? Is it enough to come up with clever song titles like “HPV Lovecraft”? Personally, I need more. I need a band to take a few steps away from those old Dick Dale clichĂ©s and give me something I haven’t heard. Otherwise it’s just pleasant background music while I do the dishes. On the first few songs on this disc, Genki Genki Panic goes through the surf checklist and then start to add their own stamp, like the weird groove they lay down on “Sexting the Dead” or the creepy wailing that cries out from “Slaughterhouse ‘69.” Things get darker as the disc progresses, and it becomes clear that this isn’t the same old surf.  –MP Johnson

Review - The Arrival of the Pistoleros (Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Multi-Tap Delay!!)

The Arrival of the Pistoleros (Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Multi-Tap Delay!!)

I must warn you that all of my information about this band is from internet searches, and due to circumstances surrounding their name/s, and the fact that they're from a country that does not speak english, the information I have been able to find is sketchy at best. 

So the first thing to know about the Pistoleros, they are not the band of the same name from Arizona. That band seems to have endless information easily available on the internet, while these Pistoleros have scant any! These Pistoleros are from Norway according to the Music Distributor that put out their CD in 2001, SAM SAM Music:

The Pistoléros are a fantastic instrumental guitar group from Norway founded in May 1997. They where largely inspired by The Shadows and Norwegian and Swedish bands. The music they play are a variety of own written songs, big hits and special cover songs from Scandinavian artists. For rock & roll / instrumental guitar fans a must have!

I don't recall exactly how I came across this album, but I do know that it was on Spotify that I first heard them after getting very inspired about Rautalanka in general (Rautalanka is an instrumental music from Finland that was created in response to the Shadows and Ventures influence in Europe, the word itself in Finnish means "Iron Wire). After hearing the opening track on "Arrival.." I was hooked, and over the years I find myself being drawn back to this recording. It's just very good, very solid Music, there's not a bad song in the bunch. And it wasn't until recently that I realized that the Multi-Tap delay on this album is just INSPIRED! It's like the Shadows and the Atlantics made sweet love and had a love child named the Pistoleros! Ok that's a little weird, but check this out!

So Multi-Tap delay is best known from bands like the Atlantics and the Shadows who all used units like the Binson Echo Rec or the Klemt Echolette to get their delay sound. A normal delay unit like the Maestro Echoplex produces a delayed repeat of the original sound at a specified interval. However the Binson and the Klemt units had what is known as Multi-Tap delay, and on this setting these units would produce 3 or 4 different repeats at varying intervals to produce a shimmering repeating delayed quality to the sound. The Pistoleros really dig in with this tone and take it all the way!

They do Several covers on the album, most notably Rocket Man from the Spotnicks, which was also covered by Ivan Pongracic and the Space Cossacks on Tsar Wars! as Cossack Rocket Patrol. However their original material is also quite stellar with the title track being one of my favorites.

Check out samples of the entire album here at Amazon, and pick up a CD copy while you're there. This one's a keeper!

So apparently they have been on a few various Rautalanka comps and they then released a follow up album called "The Return of the Pistoleros" in what appears to be 2012(I think these guys muse travel a lot because they're either arriving or returning). However just as frustrating as being named similarly to another band, there's another album release called the "Return of the Pistoleros" which is all you can find on Google, Spotify or anywhere by the Dub Pistols. Not the same! So can't find where to buy this one at all! If you have any info drop me a line and let me know where I can pick this one up. Here's a sample off of this album and it's fantastic too!

So here are some clips that show what appear to be the original Lead Guitarist moving to bass Guitar, and the bassist moving to Lead Guitar!

On Guitar:

On Bass:
I think those are the same guys right? Who knows! But the good news is that they've played as recently as 3 months ago in Norway! And the video is a bit far away, but it looks like he's back on Lead!

So at any rate, I love this band and I'm really hoping they come out with a new album and really a much easier to find website/facebook for us non nordic speaking types :) Bravo Pistoleros! Excellent albums!

Southern Surf Stompcast, episode 18

Episode 18 features an interview with The Beech Benders.

Track list:
SEAWHORES - "Agent Detective Man"
Endless Pools - "Again"
The Deadly Fathoms - "Pure Evel"
The Diamondheads - "Jalopy Showdown"
The Diamondheads - "Siesta On The Jersey Riviera"
The Intoxicators! - "The Goat"
Shark Quest - "Lunch At Sara's"
Man or Astro-man? - "A Synthesis Of Previously Unknown Substances"
El Fossil - "Manimal Farm"
The Beech Benders - "Balki's Revenge"
The Beech Benders - "Knowize The Ocean"
The Blacktop Rockets - "Knoxville Slim"
The Blacktop Rockets - "I'm Wild"
Gemini 13 - "Planet Dekker"
Impala - "Venus Flytrap"
Family Dollar Pharaohs - "Silver Crashout"
Danny Morris Band - "Hurry Up, Slow Down"
BEACHMOVER - "Medicine Man"
The Meteor Men - "Tsunami Wax"
The Penetrators - "Melodie's Dilemma"
The Twisters - "Just Before Dawn"

The Deadly Fathoms - "The Creep From The Sea"
The Diamonheads - "Waving"
Shark Quest - "In A Dive"
The Beech Benders - "When The Tide Rolls In"
Impala - "Night Full Of Sirens"

Intro and outro music, "Southern Surf Syndicate Theme", provided by The Penetrators.