Pollo Del Mar

The Golden State

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Pollo Del Mar may offer a familiar bag of instrumental surf music tricks on The Golden State, but it's a well-executed and versatile one. Wavering bent notes, quasi-Latin minor-key melodies, a mauling of a standard ("Hall of the Mountain King"), a touch of Davie Allan menace, gentler stuff with a tone that's both searing and serene ("As Above, So Below"), basic good-time chug, even hints of reggae and polka rhythms -- all this and more are here. The guitars conjure an admirable arsenal of tones and textures, from sirens and lonely pinging riffs to earthquake-rumbling bass. There's not much else to say about what they do, but what they do they do with efficiency, varying the mood more than many another retro-surf combo. Other than "Hall of the Mountain King," everything's original save for one other rather off-the-wall cover choice, the Clash's "Charlie Don't Surf."

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