Archive for August, 2012

Dragging Knuckles

August 24th, 2012 No comments

After a long hiatus, the three of us descended into The Cave tonight for a much-needed night of knocking the dust and rust off, bending new wire and stretching new calfskin. These come-back sessions usually start out baboon ugly as we force our hand to play catch-up with the songs we hear in our collective ear, and this one was no different.

This session had additional comedic effect due to our exceptionally low volume. As most of you know, there has been a recent addition to the Surf Bass family, and since this mini-sapien occupies the uppermost catacombs of The Cave we obliged to keep things beneath a dull roar.

For me, this meant plugging into a piece of equipment that has been around since the start of the band – the infamous Kustom KLA-10 practice amp! Let’s just say this – If you’ve never heard rusty, treble-heavy surf guitar through the solid-state glory of a 5″ speak with no reverb, consider yourself fortunate!

As always, surf life begins with Rumble, which we promptly turned into a coffeehouse classic by happily copping to our reduced audible intensity. From there we started working through all our originals, which immediately prompted a string of our best it’s-been-way-too-damn-long idioms, such as:

Who wrote these songs?!
Wait a minute… Isn’t that in A? No?
Wow, I completely missed the on-ramp to that solo.

And my perennial favorite… We only have ourselves to blame!

True to form, though, within a couple songs the rust loosens up, the fingers remember and the songs come back to life. Even our more recent additions to the line-up like Piltdown and Pangea sounded solid – Even a crazy little practice amp from the 80s can’t make that first chord of Pangea sound bad!

After a quick hydro-break we dove back in with some writing. LFEC has had a bass riff lodged in his cerebellum for much too long and was able to lay it out for us. Very cool, with a great vibe, and inkeeping with his hatred of even numbers the main riff covers 9 bars!

It came into the world as a straightforward rockin’ kind of thing. Drumbuie started bumping in and around the bassline and throwing out several different feels, and it’s always a treat to hear what his Congolese mind comes up with.

What really surprised us was a noodly little countermelody my dragging knuckles stumbled into that immediately threw the whole endeavor into a very spy-movie feel. It was one of those great musical moments where something unexpected fits right in and solidifies all the elements on the fringe of a riff that our minds don’t see but our ears can’t help but recognize. Drumbuie’s eyes light up, LFEC starts smiling and we know we’re onto something.

Things really locked in when, on a whim, I threw some crazy fuzz onto the guitar that took the vibe the last 10 yards. I’ve been wanting to write a fuzz song for a while now, and have also wanted to get a nice spy-infused song into our catalog – two birds, one stone much?

To cap off the night, we also discussed moving our madness to a temporary, microphone-laden locality to audibly document things in a permanent, shareable and listenable form and evolving into… Studio Sapiens!

Categories: Band Updates Tags:


August 16th, 2012 No comments

Just placed a pre-order for the new 7″ vinyl from Man or Astro-Man, Analog Series Vol. 1, which is due to be released in the next week or two!


First new songs from our favorite future surfers in years, and after seeing the band live last year we couldn’t be more fired up. And it sounds like there are several more 7″ pressings in the works, leading up to a full-length album, which is even better.

Chunklet has them for $7.95 plus shipping, so all you hipster homonids with a turntable in your cave need to get on it. As the Kiswahili say… Haraka haraka, chop chop!

Categories: Surf Music Tags: