Guantanamo Baywatch "Darling... It's Too Late" LP (2015)
Details: Limited edition "Sea of Love" splatter vinyl in blue, green, and yellow splatter on clear (sold out) edition. Released on Suicide Squeeze Records in May 2015. Limited to 500 copies.
Description: "Halfway between LA and Phoenix on a desolate stretch of I-10 lies Desert Center, a mostly abandoned town that mainly serves as a gas stop along the barren interior of California. Portland punks Guantanamo Baywatch, like so many touring bands, have passed through the town countless times on their way between shows. But the town has also become a particular source of inspiration for guitarist/vocalist Jason Powell, who recently relocated from Oregon to Arizona. It may seem ironic that a band that draws so heavily from surf-rock would find their muse in a location so far from the beach, but it’s not as if The Ventures were hitting the waves in their hometown of Tacoma or Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet were waxing their boards in Toronto."
"With "Darling... It's Too Late", Guantanamo Baywatch sought to harness and manipulate the sparkling sounds from yesteryear, all while staying true to the tape hiss and rough takes of analog recording. "We really wanted a mixtape compilation sound to the record," says Powell, and that approach can be heard in both the songwriting and the production. According to Powell, each individual song was approached with all the amps and the EQs on the recording console zeroed out. That meant that every song was recorded with a new template. The title track and lead single, "Too Late", perfectly captures this new aesthetic. With Burger Records soul singer Curtis Harding contributing backing vocals and rounding out the classic Motown ballad vibe of the track, "Too Late" is an enormous departure from the trashy Mummies-esque ruckus of their earlier recordings. Of course, the band hasn't completely abandoned the rowdy surf rock of their previous releases--Powell put the finishing touches on the album back at his Jungle Muscles Studio in Portland to keep that rough-hewn feel intact. But even when he and his bandmates Chevelle Wiseman (bass) and Chris Scott (drums) tread on their familiar territory with songs like "Raunch Stomp" or their cover of Eddie & The Showmen's "Mr. Rebel", there's a newfound clarity, punch, and swagger to their sound. Throughout the course of "Darling... It's Too Late" the trio continues to fuck with various sub-genres, from the dusty Western twang of "Corey Baum's Theme" to the straight-outta-Sun Studios rocker "Do What You Want."
Grade: NM (Cover) / NM (Record)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. Jungle Bride
A2. Raunch Stomp
A3. Sea Of Love
A4. Corey Baum's Theme
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. Mr. Rebel
B2. Beat Has Changed
B4. Boy Like Me
B5. Do What You Want