Music Review: The Surf Will Rise Again!

 The Scandinavians have become the standard-bearers for excellence when it comes to instrumental and surf sounds made in the 21st century.  For instance, the Swedish combo the Surfites have led the line-up when it comes to releasing instrumental albums that stand up with the giants of the genre. Perhaps this development can be traced back to the immense popularity of the Shadows and Spotnicks in the Nordic region during the ‘60s. Still, these Scandinavians combos tend to lean towards the Southern Californian ‘60s surf sounds instead of the aforementioned European instrumental sounds and/or the Rautalanka stylings of nearby Finland.  

In the last few years, another Scandinavian outfit with the very Golden State name of Baja Bug has emerged from Olso, Norway blazing along with a sound that could be coined “Dune Buggy Rock.” Baja Bug finds its footing and stance with “Moose on the Loose.” The immediate song sparkles with surging melodic runs and an overlapping whirling organ to achieve a perfectly balanced alignment. They also separate themselves from the pack of bands who sound totally removed from the elements of surfing itself. The power and glory of the Pacific Ocean, the rolling lift of catching a wave and riding towards the shoreline are all captured and sonically expressed. For example, “Gunfight in Kreml” features a dashing Russian folk melody and a tubular arrangement which evokes that fleeting feeling (or pipedream) of riding in the barrel. The sweeping Southwestern sound of “Moehawk” appears over the desert horizon with a twanging menace recalling epic Spaghetti Western soundtracks. “Pacific Punch” could be the group’s signature song as it's the most quintessential Baja Californian - motoring along dunes of bright melodies and maintaining traction with its underneath churning percussion. An additional roll bar of guitars expands the song to the wide-open West where mountains, ocean, sun and sand converge. Baja Bug is making a run for being the world’s best and only current dune buggy rock band. Hopefully, more groups will follow in its tracks. - Ted (Downtown)

The Surf Will Rise Again! on Freegal

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