Thursday, April 30, 2015

Guantanamo Baywatch: "Darling...It's Too Late!" (album review)

Sometimes a band's name can be a detriment.  That is very often the case when they choose a pun.  It seems clever at first, then wears thin (just like the B-Sharps!).

Enter Portland, OR's Guantanamo Baywatch and their new album Darling...It's Too Late! (out May 12th).  Of course the genre of music you'd expect from a band named Guantanamo Baywatch is...rockabilly?

The record strikes up in a hurry with "Jungle Bride".  The combination rockabilly and surf guitar coupled with the thin production will have you thinking you're back listening to The Cramps on your mono record player.

"Mr. Rebel" is easy to love.  It's bright and energetic and will have you charging up the hill at your enemies in no time.  Despite some incredibly nasally vocals, "Sea of Love" still manages to suck you in somehow.

A series of instrumental tracks are sprinkled throughout the record.  Unlike most instrumentals, tracks like "Raunch Stomp" and "Shenanigans" manage to put forward their own narratives, lyrics be damned!

The rockabilly takes a back seat on a pair of tunes.  First is the ska-based "Beat Has Changed", which incorporates a health hunk of twang to keep the song from sounding out of place.  The second is the closer "Do What You Want", a catchy song rooted in early '50s sock hop rock and roll.

Best tracks: "Sea of Love", "Mr. Rebel"

Track listing for Darling...It's Too Late!:
  • Jungle Bride
  • Raunch Stomp
  • Sea of Love
  • Corey Baum's Theme
  • Too Late
  • Mr. Rebel
  • Beat Has Changed
  • Shenanigans
  • Boy Like Me
  • Do What You Want

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