Label: Art is Hard Release date: 22/11/10 Exeter’s New Years Evil and Falmouth’s The Black Tambourines siphon surfy, tropical goodness into their 7-inch split, which is crammed with beachy punk beats and ‘woah woahs’ Nathan Williams would be proud of. Released on the up-and-coming independent label Art is Hard, the double A-side showcases two of the best new bands the Southwest has to offer. In their single ‘Shame’, New Years Evil generate a deluge of distortion that amalgamates with hooky, flickering beats to create something akin to the likes of MBV. Brooding basslines and soaring, screaming guitars make the song robust, yet there remains a vulnerability to their music, which is mainly down to the raw vocal delivery. Like the Black Lips or Male Bonding, their stylised musings ooze with the obligatory scuzzy slacker vibe that any self-respecting garage band projects abundantly. As sunny as any Californian surf band, The Black Tambourines infuse waves of catchy, off-kilter guitars with echoey whoops and wails to produce a sun drenched surge of seashore sound. Their music is distorted, coarse but essentially jubilant and ‘Tommy’ basks in blazing beating buoyancy, fuelled by grainy lo-fi sunbeams. The influence of No Age and dark surfer kings, Crystal Stilts is clearly present in their sound and ultimately this is a band that is clearly yet to realise their full potential. It’s hard not to like this record, with its sanguine summer air and upbeat tempo. The bands convey innocence, tranquillity and malaise which is comforting and haunting all at once and, throughout, waves of sound ripple nonchalantly, whilst the threat of tsunami never quite dissipates. That said, there are a string of new bands doing similar at the moment, and while the record temptingly invites an enjoyable paddle, nothing spectacular about this offering urges you to wholeheartedly dive in. Regardless, these bands are on the right track and will undoubtedly evolve given time; this is a solid effort. Photobucket