Aloha Radio: Dusts off a classic genre and makes it modern.
Aloha Radio could be called a SoCal surf band. But, that barely describes what they actually do. Although their style is reminscent of ’60′s surf rock and surf pop, their sound goes beyond that. Somehow, this Orange County crew dusts off an old genre and makes it modern. At times, they even make it sound exotic.
On the surface, their material appears to pay homage to traditional themes such as summer time, big waves, and surfer-dudes and dudettes. But, by listening closely to songs like “Big Wave Madness” and “Spy Rider,” underlying messages become apparent. Almost subversive in approach, Aloha Radio offer a deeper experience than expected from a surf rock act. Their lyrics give you something to think about, while their music gives you a reason to dance.
This group is tighter than the curls at the Banzai Pipeline. Barnett’s guitar infuses the tunes with that “wet surf reverb” Dick Dale perfected. Captin and Hori provide ballast, and occasional ska flourishes. Lead surfer-girl, Lauren Mulderrig adds tasty musical accents with her ukulele, conveying an authenticity that gives the songs a real island flavor. Her vocals are also spot-on, soft when necessary, intense when required. It’s obvious that these artists love this music, and that attitude comes across in every song they play.
This act got the place jumping. Not so much because of their stage show, which was somewhat understated, but because their music was so damn irresistible. There were so many people dancing it resembled one of those “beach party” movies. The only thing missing was the bonfire….and maybe, Gidget and Moondoggie.
Orange County is know for breeding an impressive line of seminal surf bands. Aloha Radio, however, have taken the genre into the 21st century. They are not only honoring hallowed ground as so many other surf bands do; they’re adding to its glory by forging a new sound for a new generation.
-Bernard Baur, Music Connection Magazine