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Urban Surf Kings

Urban Surf Kings - ...Play El Toro and Other Favourites EP - 7

...Play El Toro and Other Favourites EP - 7"
Cinnamon Toast - 1999

Michael Panontin
Halifax scenesters Urban Surf Kings have been plying their trademark surf instrumentals out on the east coast since the mid-nineties. The lads became a bit of an east coast phenomenon with a spate of locally popular cassette-only releases, the six-song Looking Sharp and the seven-song Surfin' Santa in 1996 and the equally long The Man from S.U.R.F. the following year, so USK looked to spread the good news to the rest of Canada. The band entered Terry Pulliam's SoundMarket studio and laid down five tracks, one of which, 'Memories of Gay Paree', aptly found its way onto the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet tribute comp Better Than the Average Weekend. The others were set to come out on an Ontario-based indie, but when those plans fell through, three of the tracks ended up here as the band's first vinyl release.

This extremely limited seven incher (300 copies on flaming red vinyl) was recorded live in the studio at the end of the millennium. With Mr. Mumps busting some credible Ventures guitar and girded by the jet-fuelled rhythm section of Crash Flag (bass) and Inky (drums), 'El Toro' comes off as a fine and frantic piece of California freak-out. The mellower western guitar on 'Ideal Surf Cafe' is a bit more on the decaf side, while the wigged-out 'Cafe Americano' on the flip gives more of a jolt - fully roasted and served up short and strong, just the way we like it.

(Watch for El Toro and Other Songs, along with The Man from S.U.R.F. cassette, to be available digitally later in 2007, alas, just as the CD itself seems to be riding its last wave into the sunset.)


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