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Lawndale - Beyond Barbecuedotdotdotdot
artworkLawndale's short-lived career on the SST label spawned two albums, which may well have been the first truly experimental surf influenced envelope bursting works. Metal artrock meets surf guitar at the quirky lounge. Their first album Beyond Barbecue is haunting and daunting. Released in 1986.
Picks: Streets Of Desire, Gone Fishin', Atta Boy Luther!, The Grotto, The Story Of Vanna White, Rendezvous, Carousel, The Drift, Shotgun Shuffle, Interstellar Overdrive, The Days Of Pup And Taco

Track by Track Review


Streets Of Desire dotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic and psychedelic, playful and rolling, surfy and modern. The dry second guitar chords under the slow wah-wah lead tones make a nice combo. Kinda spooky and melodramatic, with psychedelic overtones and surf underpinnings. Fine track.

Gone Fishin' dotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Dark crunch and chunk, wah wah swirl, grumbly underbelly fuzz, and an angular melody. "Gone Fishin'" is difficult to listen to, yet attractive, particularly as the countrified coolness of the bridge comes in.

Atta Boy Luther! dotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of back woods hokum and some angularity conspire to generate images of woodsy adventure and small town smurfability. Kinda spy, kinda bee bop, and kinda dangerous.

The Grotto dotdotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very well written, melodic piece, with pure trad and Ben Vaughn influences, and haunting atmospherics. It is dramatic, artistic, infectious, and has stuck with me for many years. It's a great track! In the heyday of South Bay surf bands, the Mallards included this in their set.

The Story Of Vanna White dotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Like a liquid slow "Wild Goose" rising from a foggy bog, this bio-inspired song sports a spooky and moody melody line with an unusual tone. "The Story Of Vanna White" is fun and a little adventurous. Aqua psycho daisy deluxe.

Rendezvous dotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a kind of jazzy, almost loungy number with an exotic beat and coastal sound. "Rendezvous" hints of verandah meetings and tall cool ones. Quite a nice track!

Carousel dotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Sixties fuzz lurks under sparkling surf and salt spray. "Carousel" is an angular song with a cool, almost Aqua Velvets melody and gruff backdrop. Quite odd, yet endearing.

The Drift dotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

As you might expect from the title, "The Drift" is on the softer side of Lawndale. The melody is haunting and very pretty, while the backtrack provides grumble-lite! Quite a fine track. The fuzz and weirdness break is interesting too, especially as it speeds up before launching into big slow wah wah space age screams.

Shotgun Shuffle dotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic twangage and groovy piano open "Shotgun Shuffle," but rather soon, thundering drums and a long down-then-up glissando introduces a country twanged surf influenced ride on the Wells Fargo stage to Pismo Beach. Infectious, roadway rambling, and richly twanged.

Interstellar Overdrive dotdotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Ah, yes, your most secret desire comes true here. No, not a night with Hillary, a merger between the Duke Ellington classic "Caravan" and Pink Floyd's earliest space instro "Interstellar Overdrive." The tones range from twangorama camel train to screaming metal space swirl wah-wah. This brilliant coupling vacillates between the two songs as if they were meant for each other. This is another track that inspired inclusion in the sets of some South bay surf bands over a decade ago, most notably the Mallards. Bitchin' psychedelic swirling surf fun.

The Days Of Pup And Taco dotdotdotdot
Progressive Metal Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Though the title hints of a variation of "The Days of Wine and Roses," this is nothing of the sort. Extra swell melodic guitar fluidly rolls out over a briskly infectious rhythm track, until the break comes along. There, we find a dark post metal grunge that evolves into a semi-speedcore grind, before dropping into a slow sludge-o-matic howl.