Don’t let the surfy sleeve – or, indeed, the presence of The Atlantics’ Martin Cilia on two tracks – fool you, as it did me, into expecting a straightforward surf album with perhaps an Australian flavour. While several influences are apparent, this Aussie power trio are intent on carving their own niche in the instrumental scene, and doing it with a repertoire which is largely self penned.
The sleeve photo shows Ben with a Strat, but the sounds are largely overdriven rather than clean and the notes indicate that Martin was toting a couple of Gibsons for his contributions. The three non-originals are an eclectic mix of one ’60s pop tune (an excellent take on the old Exciters / Billie Davis hit Tell Him), some gypsy jazz (Django Reinhardt’s Anouman) and a romantic standard which features some ukulele strumming (Charles Trenet’s La Mer).
While the originals do incorporate some of the structures and harmonies of surf, the music is more akin to a less frenzied antipodean variant of Pipeline favourites The Razorblades. Beware, as the sleeve warns there is a naughty word in there… and a bit of nice resonator guitar and that ukulele (very un-surfy), but I did warn you not to pigeonhole this band). Listen, enjoy, but don’t just file under “surf”.