Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: Dirtnap Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Surf Revival
You can't actually surf in Portland, Oregon, but then again, you can't ride the waves in Minneapolis, either, and that didn't stop the Trashmen from becoming the world's greatest landlocked surf band, so there's no compelling reason why Portland's Guantanamo Baywatch can't hang ten with their guitars and drums if they're of a mind. Judging from Guantanamo Baywatch's first album for Dirtnap Records, Chest Crawl, their guitarist Jason Powell has a better-than-average grasp of the sound of classic surf rock, and if he doesn't bring much new to the picture, he's clearly no hodad, laying out reverb-soaked leads with lots of beer-soaked gusto that makes his dexterity all the more impressive. The rhythm section of bassist Chevelle Wiseman and drummer Chris Scott is similarly capable, holding down the bottom end with enthusiasm to spare and no wasted effort, and at their best, the group kicks up a pretty great party soundtrack on Chest Crawl.
It's pretty safe to say that the Portland, Oregon, trio Guantanamo Baywatch don’t take themselves too seriously. Self-described as "surf sex sludge and garbages," the trio out of Portland unleash a rowdy type of punk 'n roll full of angsty derision. Most of the tracks are a cacophony of rattling drums and distortion with drowned out vocals and a Ventures-style surf solo somewhere in the mess.
Guantanamo Baywatch is a surf/garage rock revival outfit out of Portland. Chest Crawl, their first album for Dirtnap, shows a real affinity for their chosen genres. Guitarist Jason Powell nails the ‘60s surf-rock guitar tone and playing style, while bassist Chevelle Wiseman and drummer Chris Michael follow his lead ably. The handful of instrumental surf songs are where Chest Crawl shines, as Powell’s expressive playing skillfully mixes catchy guitar melodies and more showoffy solos.