Reptile Records (www.reptilerecords.com)
What makes writing music reviews difficult? When I’m finished and the review is submitted, there’s nothing I can do to change it. Every album I review and like, there is nothing I would rather do than go back and add a sentence here, delete another there. But alas, the review is considered complete and there is nothing I can do to convince the world otherwise.
It is with the above heavy thought that I begin my review of Daikaiju’s self-titled, 10-song album. Now I wonder: Will the band appreciate the review? Will I adequately express my joy at having fallen upon this album? Will it be clear that this album is a worthy addition to any and every surf collection? Unsure of the answer of any of these questions, I suppose I should just tell you about the music.
First of all, if you are a fan of the Dick Dale, The Tornadoes or The Ventures brand of surf rock, this album may throw you off balance. Though you can certainly hear the origins of surf music throughout the album (in particular on “The Trouble with those Mothra Girls”), there isn’t a single wave before, during or after any song. In fact, there isn’t any sound (not even the chaotic barking The Tornadoes made in “Moon Dog”) beyond the reverberating guitars, walking bass lines and hard-hitting drums.
Another difference between the old days of surf rock and Daikaiju is attitude. Instead of the gentle progression of many tunes by surf legends, Daikaiju has filled their album with an aggressive flavor of surf interspersed with peaceful moments such as “Farewell to Monster Island.” From the first song, “Daikaiju Die!,” Daikaiju brings their full onslaught of surf madness to your living room. Whether they’re being attacked by Crab Women (song 2), pounding out “Showdown in Shinjuku” or bopping along in “Incognito,” Daikaiju is sure to capture your heart. The pauses, the gentle strumming and the full-force noise are where they need to be for each and every song. And if you’re like me, you’ll wish you were the one who had started such a great surf band when you’re doing listening to this album.
Finally…Daikaiju’s music, though produced years after surf music had seemingly met its demise, is as timeless and well constructed as any of the reverb-laden surf from the past. If you care about surf music and have wondered where it’s gone, grab this CD for the answer.