...Well I'm not!! I hate the ocean and it doesn't care for me much either. It's full of salt (that refuses to help me float); dogs chewing tennis balls; nip nip crabs; and carrier bags that disguise themselves as jellyfish to send little kids - who were meant to be enjoying their holidays - running out of the water crying and on to a beach, where they may or may not sit on a bee and get stung!! On top of all that, in Scotland the sea is ****** cold!! So sorry surfing if you don't mind I'll just stay in the warmth of the car and listen to music instead, now what's on this CD down here....oooo surf-pop!
Ok concession time, for a stupid hobby, surfing has more than done its bit when it comes to inspiring great music (unlike you skateboarding!), and they'll be few better recent illustrations of the merit in tidal tunesmithery than 'Twin Rays', by Brisbane trio GUNG HO. Part of the August singles appeal however, comes from the fact that it's not a straight up and down surf-pop pastiche. The rippling lead melody, rolling drum break and hollow production approach - re-familiarised by Best Coast and chums - all give the track a clear sixties flashback flavour, but the presence of a forlorn lyric and flecks of nu-wave synth help to widen the songs scope and lightly nudge the sound into the vicinity inhabited by post punk revivalists like Selebrities. This sparing eighties touch begins to make more sense after an exploration of Gung Ho's April demos, and in particular 'Weekend Mothers', which is vintage Factory Records in it's sound. Vocals are yelped, the baseline is taut, and the whole package has funk in its angular bones; in short this is a track that shacked up with A Certain Ratio then took to town for some freaky dancing with Happy Mondays. 'Vacation' is a somewhat simpler affair, but not one to be overlooked, thanks to the presence of a tip-top chorus and teasing jammed outro. Three songs, only one conclusion: Surf boards = thumbs down; Fretboards and mixing boards = big thumbs up!
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