Surfing from coast to coast, irreverent rebels pay oxy-moronic homage to their heroes… and then some.
This trio of Berklee graduates aren’t able to stand still when it comes to a catchy melody that can be dipped in the ocean. Starting out from NYC and landing in LA, they thrive in a retrofuturistic environment with a lot of humor thrown in to distinguish the guys from the other beach boys. That’s why “Broken Rider” doesn’t mean there are damaged requests for the band’s touring needs; rather, it’s sole ask – wrapped in an almost a cappella way – to join the guys on a jet ski adventure.
Yes, it’s quite a regal regatta, a kind of “Bo Rap” on the crest of a wave, but “Zorro” adds a deep twang to it – bass bobbing around guitar licks and drums punctuating the ebb – as if the eponymous horseman has taken to the shore to lend his name to the group’s six-string slinger along the way. The march of “Is There Only One Horse?” is in no hurry to deliver its ska-kissed, acid-drenched message – but if you need a chase sequence in this imaginary movie, the heavily comedic “Escape From Rum Island” would make a perfect soundtrack to it, while Amen Ra’s theremin adds an otherworldly dimension to “16 Million Candles” which is a haunting séance to communicate with the spirits of yore.
That’s basically what this unholy trinity does on a bonus concert disc, imagined as a 1964 gig, whose 27-minute “The Big Medley” has embraced an array of familiar tunes, from “Hava Nagila” to “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, from “House Of The Rising Sun” to “Walk Don’t Run” in order to pass the joy on to the trio’s own pieces such as the surprisingly sparse ballad “Lilian” and slightly unhinged, “Greensleeves”-sporting jams. A musical box splinters of “Tiki Sleep Cycle” may have also come from a hazy reverie about one’s sweet past – or the last Yuletide, the tide you can’t ride, of course, although the epic finale of “Roll Tide” offers a vibrantly dark, bluesy type of escape, and that’s where the boisterous singing of “Chasin’ Me Down” comes into a sax-smeared play.
With the organ-rippled “R.I.P.” painting a Halloween horror, it’s a party for all seasons here. Join a ride and have fun, then.