Tubular tunes: A Brooklyn surf rock roundup

The Brooklyn Paper
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Far out!

Surf guitar god Dick Dale is playing Brooklyn Bowl on Aug. 2 and summer temperatures soaring, so The Brooklyn Paper braved rip currents and sandy trunks to bring you the best in Brooklyn’s surf music scene. The genre proper may have wiped out by the late 1960s, but these bands dusted of their parents’ copy of “Pet Sounds” and incorporated washes of reverb, snare-heavy drums, and sun-kissed lyrics into their own acts. Expect sounds closer to contemporary act Surfer Blood than the Ventures or the Surfaris of old — with six decades of rock history to draw on, these acts fold in elements from a variety of rock sub-genres.

The Vandelles

This band is chest-deep in the surf music canon — and it has got the ’verbed-out guitars, “ooh la la” group vocals, and found beach sounds to prove it. Bonus points for having an article-plus-noun name. The group currently working on a follow-up to its 2013 EP “Strange Girls Don’t Cry.”


If surf music is supposed to capture the sport in sound, Coastgaard’s tunes are an afternoon spent waiting out summer showers so you can get back to the waves. Call it dream-pop, call it chill wave, just don’t call it bogus, brah.

Coastgaard plays the Bowery Electric (327 Bowery at Second Street in Manhattan). July 29 at 7:30 pm. $8.


In addition to having the best name in the biz, Shark? delivers with the consistency of a point break. Sing-shouting and speed-picked guitars ride a swell of fat bass lines and strait-forward drumming that rocks hard but never betrays its roots. Shark? is dropping a new album Oct. 1 and is in the midst of planning a tour.


Surfing may be the least “surf” band on this list, but its single “Hollow Sparrow” is the soundtrack to a wipeout. The blend of surf-y guitar phrasing with spacey effects, combined with a frenetic rhythm section, gives the track the disorienting feel of tumbling through emerald and foam — except you don’t get water up your nose.

Surfing plays Glasslands Gallery (289 Kent Ave. at S. First Street in Williamsburg). Aug. 10 at 8:30 pm. $10.

Posted 1:38 pm, July 28, 2014
Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
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