Charlie Doesn't Surf is band from Minneapolis, Minnesota comprised of Joshua Williamson (guitar/vox) John Bruno (drums) Wyatt Engl (bass). They band released two EP’s both of which we reviewed here at Divide and Conquer. The band is back with another release and this time it’s their self-titled album.
The band covers a wide range of topics on this release including grief, struggles with modern technology and the culture it creates, and civic pride, and more. As far as the music goes the band keeps it close to their previous EP’s. The songs are catchy, rock based and mostly revolve around guitar, bass, drums and vocals but piano does show up on occasion.
The album was a pleasure to listen to. Although there are some heavy topics the mood isn’t heavy or bogged down. In fact I thought some of their music had a " it's summer roll down your windows" type of quality. The song are for the most part bright and infectious.
The band gets going with “Darkroom Dream” which is indicative of the general style the band plays into for a large majority of the album but there are some twists and turns as well. I thought the aesthetics had a classic 90’s alternative feel to it. The verse is clean and catchy while the chorus rocks out considerably hard in epic fashion.
“D.U.I.” is another example of band writing a single worthy song. The chorus is very addictive. “Lynlake Punk” sounded somewhere between The Smashing pumpkins and Hum to my ears while “Palm Pilot” and “Despot” is a little closer to 90’s punk.
One of the highlight was “Stand/Fall” which was a little more experimental. It’s a bass heavy song and there is some intense guitar action on this song which had a post-rock quality to it. “Broken Cells” is an inward, cerebral journey that seems to be about cancer. I loved the melody on this song. “Travis (Revisited)” is a slow burn and eventually becomes one of the more epic songs on the album. The mood perks up with “Perpetual Youth” but gets contemplative with “HWY 19”. “Ode 2 Harper” felt simultaneously loud and soft in a very cool way. They closer with a song called “closer” which was a fitting ending.
The band covers a lot of ground here and their debut album felt like their most rewarding release yet. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook