My recollections of Spanish beaches aren’t entirely positive: up north, what passed for a beach could just as easily have been the bitumen quadrangle at my primary school after years of education department neglect; down south (on the ‘Costa del Pom’), clusters of lobster-red German and English tourists polluting the otherwise beautiful beaches like sawfly larvae traipsing across beautiful botanic gardens.
Yet such unimpressive imagery is counter-factual to Spanish band Los Coronas’ captivating surf rock style. Libertwango offers up Hank Marvin with an Iberian personality implant; on Big Wave Riders, there’s more excitement and energy than a Catalunyan summer night party. Sangre En La Arena strides across the room and sticks its Sangria-soaked tongue straight down your throat and whisks you off to a Dick Dale tribute night, Soul Surfer is slicker than a Raymond Chandler private dick, with as many silent double entendres as you need for a good night at the bar.
Aguascalientes is strong and silent, waiting in the shadows to be noticed; ten parts charisma and bugger all pretension. El Baile Finale means business with a Ravonettes-like European swagger; Rancho Leone separates the long-board riding men from the boogie board masturbating boys and sniggers at the result. Jinetes Radioactivos is pleasantly dangerous, in a 4am margarita sampling session sort of way and Alamerde packs up a bunch of Duane Eddy records and charges headlong into mad oblivion. Calle Tesoro is sweet and tender, a comforting kiss on the cheek after a tough afternoon in the waves; on Hang Five Californian surf rock empathy meets Dave Brubeck in a Malibu bar, gets down to some seriously good shit.
According to psychological statistical lore, Spain has the lowest rate of depression in the world. With music like this, that’s not suprising.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Big Wave Riders
If You Like This, You’ll Like: The Shadows, Dick Dale, Puta Madre Brothers.
In A Word: Surf