Guantanamo Baywatch/Natural Child // Surf N Turf
Suicide Squeeze Records
Recommended Track: Love This Time
It ain’t exactly seared scallops and Wagu beef but the folks over at Suicide Squeeze are serving up a winter special that will have you pickin the sand from your teeth and hee hawin’ round the record player like a hillbilly on a half pipe. You’ve got your bedraggled, whiskey-swillin’ Southern blues and your acid-tripped, rainy day surf thrash. It’s quite an unlikely pairing. But all kidding aside, this is actually a pretty fun little split.
Surf N Turf kicks off with Natural Child’s “Don’t Wake The Baby”. The Tennessee sludge bumpkins’ familiar bag of 70s Stones licks has been replaced with a stoic (though still humorous) take of life on the road. Perhaps softened from years of touring, they sound more mellow beach twang and Gram Parsons peyote rock than the hard driving riffs of 1971 and earlier work with Turbo Fruits. In this world of relentless genre fetishizing, it’s nice to know bands are still capable of playing outside the specter of 60s garage.
Guantanamo Baywatch also do a bit of time warping on the flip side with “Love This Time”. Jason Powell’s vocals are like an even raspier King Lollipop. Doing his rendition of the best 50s punk speckled with just the right amount of bluesy guitar gusto and female backups, Powell reminds you that it’s not all doom and gloom in PDX. As with Natural Child, it’s nice to see Guantanamo moving away from their earlier instrumental tendencies into more challenging vocal structures. While some may think Powell’s voice sounds more like a raccoon caught in a mouse trap, it has a certain bratty charm that suits their Northwest roots.