Chairmen of The Boards
Wayfarers On, Wax The Board We’re Going Surfin’ Canadian Style!
I doubt I’ve heard or certainly actually ‘listened to’ Surf Music since I received that fabled box of Olde Records, that included two Surfaris EP’s back in 1970!
Yet, only a few weeks a weeks ago I reviewed the Neptunas and now; it’s The fabulously monikered Chairmen of The Boards from Toronto Town in Canada.
Surfing in Canada?
Lake Ontario it appears; who knew?
Let’s not let the esoterics get in the way of a damn fine record; let’s just open a cold ‘un and slip on the Clubmasters; Surf’s undoubtedly Up; Dude.
With instrumentals it must be difficult choosing something to open an album with; something to capture the imagination right from the off; and COTB do that perfectly with the intense Stormy Monday Payoff; which sounds like it was culled together after a 24 Hour session watching Tarantino movies.
This is followed by Run-A-Wave; which while not up there with Apache, certainly sounds as if Rob Hiemstra had spent a long Zen like Summer studying at the feet of Hank B Marvin; and that makes for some truly simpering guitar licks.
A Classic Guitar, bass and drums trio at heart the Chairmen aren’t afraid to add and subtract when necessary, with the judicious use of pedal-steel on the smoocherific Moonlight Beach, to give it a Hawaiian feel and several times across the rest of the disc a horn section and tinkling Hammond organ gives us an authentic 60’s vibe too.
Another problem bands must have with instrumentals; is naming them …… but here Dirty Grind, Booty Wiggle and Beach Bang are just as salacious as the titles suggest; but only in an innocently naughty manner.
I can’t help thinking that this is a mysterious Soundtrack to Quentin’s unreleased film; Point Break II (Waikiki on Fire) or the likes; so choosing a Favourite Track has been very difficult; as while very few tracks stand out from the crowd, with the whole concept neatly blending from one track to another; but the version of Dick Dale’s Taco Wagon sounds great when cranked up to 10 in the car; as does Danger in The Way which would surely be the police chase in my imaginary movie!
But then again the title track Surfin’ The Apocalypse; which just may be the Soundtrack to 2020, has me shaking my shoulders and shuffling my feet every time I play it; so let’s go their for the RMHQ Favourite Track.
It’s not really clear why Chairmen of the Boards eventually went down this quirky musical route; all the Release says is that they kept adding self-penned Surf tracks to their set-list many moons ago during a residency at Grossman’s Tavern in Toronto; but on these dark, cold and lonely days at the tail end of 2020 I’m bloody glad they did!
Released November 27th 2020
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