Once, surf music meant extended instrumental jams, and the shimmering, reverb-y guitar tones of Dick Dale or The Ventures. But we live in a post-Jack Johnson world, where faceless beach-bonfire folk passes for surf, and Bedouin Soundclash is a frat house staple. It’s Easier to be Somebody Else, is bound to draw comparisons to the aforementioned frat-surf bands, but Hey Ocean! transcends these easy associations with outstanding songwriting and an unflagging sense of fun. “Fish” showcases the band at its best, with its funky upstroke rhythm and punny lyrics (“I am o-fish-ally a fish”). “A Song About California” is another standout, an ironically titled jam about singer Ashleigh Ball’s inability to write a song about California. The album’s production, courtesy of Jose Miguel Contreras (singer of By Divine Right), is loose and organic, perfectly suited to the album’s party atmosphere.
And once the party gets started, the band doesn’t want it to ever end – at 15 tracks, and almost an hour in length, Hey Ocean! risks outstaying its welcome. But, despite dragging a little towards the end, the band’s songwriting is consistent, and It’s Easier to be Somebody Else is the perfect soundtrack for your summer barbeque. Party on.
Posted: Jul 17, 2008