What is it about surf music that makes non-Californians so damn good at it? Perhaps it’s because you need to grow up some place cold and shitty to truly appreciate the golden dream at the center of the genre that is its raison d’être. I mean, just look at the Rivieras. Or the Oneders.
Trabants is a bi-coastal surf band led by Eric Penna (originally of Maryland) and anchored by a rotating cast of collaborators. Having moved his show to Los Angeles, Penna tapped into the sights and sounds of the local scene for Trabants’ new LP Freakout, and the result is a truly authentic surf record tinged with the colorful tones of West Coast psychedelia. First single “Mecca” (inspired by the name of an Internet surf radio show) starts off with an appropriately mystical sounding sitar guitar line before blasting off into Dick Dale-heights of instrumental surf as played by people who obviously have a deep love and reverence for the source material.
But wait, there’s more! Freakout features a veritable wrecking crew of L.A. musicians, including Cameron Gartung of Mystic Braves on drums and Martin Roark of So many Wizards playing bass, some baritone guitar and cello. Bryan Murphy of Man Man has been a regular collaborator in Trabants since the very beginning, and contributes some trumpet skillz. And let’s not forget Samira Winter, who sings background vocals on a tune. With all this talent involved, Freakout may just be the first must-hear LP of the summer.
Trabants play an album release show tomorrow at the Satellite with Gal Pals and Summer Twins, and hit the road for a West Coast tour the next day. Dates below.
6-May – THE SATELLITE (Los Angeles)
TOUR KICK OFF SHOW
with Summer Twins and GAL PALS
7-May – THE WAYFARER (OC)
8-May – TAP 25 (Livermore, CA)
9-May – BLONDIE’s (Arcata)
10-May – THE KNOW (Portland)
13-May – SUNSET TAVERN (Seattle)
14-May – THE CREPE PLACE (Santa Cruz)
15-May – THEE PARKSIDE (SF)