Gantez Warrior // Shaka Boogie
Recommended Tracks: I Drew A Picture, Beezlebub
I dare anyone to sit still while listening to Gantez Warrior’s first full-length album Shaka Boogie. Their breed of garagey surf-punk is incredibly infectious and will have your toes tapping and your head bobbing in no time. This is one band whose influences shine through every song, from new wave to rockabilly. The album’s opener “I Like to Surf” is exactly what it sounds like, a genuine surf song that channels 60’s surf movie soundtracks in the vein of Beach Party.
Apart from the surf aesthetic, Shaka Boogie has a cartoonish personality that is particularly emphasized in “Bad Chicken”, “Zebras”, “I Drew A Picture”, and “Bus Stop Rocker”. The only thing lacking is childish innocence. Think Frank Zappa not Pee-Wee Herman. In other words don’t play “Bad Chicken” for the kiddies unless you want them singing “if the barn is a’cluckin’, you know we’re a’fuckin’” to each other. The dudes in Gantez Warrior must have some weird animal fetish because “Zebras” also mentions animal sex. Whatever floats your boat, man.
Despite the bestial intimation in their songs, this album really is a genuine rock ‘n’ roll record. “Beezlebub” is the tale of Satan, after all. You can’t get more rock n’ roll than that. The song structures follow the tried and true formula of simple up and down melodies, strong bass-lines, call and response, and a steady backbeat. Shaka Boogie is an impressive first effort from the Costa Mesa trio. There are tons of wannabe surf records out there right now, but this album really does it right while still coming off as fresh. Well, except for “Surf Thump”, which is essentially the original Batman theme.