DESTINATION…PLANET ROCK! - The Del Sonics (self released)
In spite of the hyperbolic media release, it's actually pretty good. Brevity's a by-word for this Brisbane surf trio as there's just eight tracks here, but they're keepers.

It's hard to push the boundaries when you play instro' surf songs because the fences are fairly well cemented in place. The Del Sonics know that and push out past the beach-break to tackle the big waves. They're channeling bits of The Kingsmen on the cleverly-named "Luau Luau" and the Kinks' "All Day And All Of The Night" on "Funky Chikishko". It's a mash-up of sorts and more power to it. This is surf music served on the rocks. Or with rock. If you know what I mean. Production is just that side of scuzzy.

"(No One LIkes A) Smart Arsed Robot" bounces samples of the "Lost In Space" Robot off a nagging guitar figure courtesy of a guy going under the name Twang and he can bend 'em, alright. Kahuna puts his guitar-playing right out there on the psych-tinged "Speak Cyborg…or DIE!" and you can hear the Del Sonics would be a lot of fun live.

"Deep Purple Sunset" and "The Secret of Hanger #9" are more conventional surf-rockers but still worthy in their own regard. My guess is the tones might be a bit muddier in the live context. "Kids Stink, Don't They?" threatens to be the quiet reflective moment and explodes at the 50-second mark to emerge as a fire-breathing stomper. Lock up your sisters, Gidget.

Surf music is what it is and you'll like it or loathe it. My considered view is that if you're partial to a Hawaiian shirt and drink with a little umbrella in it, there are worse ways than "Destination…Planet Rock!" to spend half an hour. Cop it on CD Baby. - The Barman


 

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