We tend to focus on the whole “city pop revival” thing a lot around these (and, well, most English media outlets) here parts, but in reality there are a bunch of different areas in the current band boom. Beyond the laid-back outfits, you have the wonky mainstream embrace of Gesu No Kiwami Otome, along with harder-edged success via One OK Rock and Man With A Mission. This year has also seen a pretty clear punk revival, lead by swamp boy Wanima. And then there are all the surf-rock inspired outfits making fast-paced rock intended for the warmer months. These groups are always a hit or miss proposition, especially since so many of them fall well short of matching the distorted zip of the now-finished Teen Runnings. Honestly, most of these groups seem like far less interesting versions of that project, and regardless of how not-young or fully teen they are the music seems more like paint by numbers than anything else.
And Summer Club might not be able to match the best of this stuff soon, but “Into The White” shows far more promise than a lot of these seasonal wannabes. Off of their first album via a bigger label, it wastes little time plunging in to the fast part, all simple chords and a persistent beat that keeps this one going, punctuated at one point by a nice yelp. The key, though, is letting a little fuzz and melancholy around the edges — too many of these newer surf-lovin’ groups are walking sunscreen ads, but the best acts at it (Teen Runnings definitely got it down) know a day at the beach is rarely that sunny. So here are lead vocals that don’t come through 100%…and they save the mixed-gender duet for the very end…and which at times sound more like a sigh than a smile. Oh, and at one second over two minutes, it’s a solid length. Listen above.
So hey, keep an eye on them! Helping their cause is the darty “Surfer Girl” and “Hello Witches,” below, off of aforementioned debut Heavy Hawaii Punk. Listen below, and hope they keep it going.