Acapulco Lips Review
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The new self-titled album from Seattle’s Acapulco Lips is the type I picture being advertised in older television commercials with the overexcited middle-aged salesman rambling on about how great his product is and then finally ending with the classic line, “If you like ____________, then you’ll love ______________.” Insert “surf rock” and “Acapulco Lips” in those blanks, and you’ve got a perfect description for their latest endeavor.

This is a throwback album in almost every sense of the word—at least as far as surf rock goes (maybe even before it was called surf rock)—all the way from the staggered percussion and wistful background strumming to the radical guitar solos. Songs like “My Time,” “Awkward Waltz,” and “Gotta Know” pay tribute to the medium grooves of the ‘60s, which had me fighting off the urge to do The Swim in several areas (Okay, I gave in—what do you want from me?) while also addressing various relationship issues (a theme that continues throughout).

Others, like “Wake Me,” “No Longer,” “Tonight,” and “Hangover Blues” either slow down (the first two) or speed up (the last two)—but only slightly, helping to maintain a feeling of fluid motion all the way through the album. At the same time, they also add their own distinct features, such as tambourine, xylophone, and even some more hopeful lyrics to help break up any potential monotony. “Hangover Blues” deserves special kudos for expertly blending the surf and blues style, keeping it simple with drums and short guitar pops during verses to allow all grievances to be aired before hitting down hard at the chorus.

Still, others, like “Shoes On” and “Marching of the Bees,” bring their own style (rock and chant) without seeming out of place. For all its diversity, the album can sometimes get overwhelmed by its more surf rockier elements, but the songs move quickly and don’t last long, so it never becomes a serious problem (unless you don’t like surf rock, in which case you’ll probably hate this entire album). And while it probably won’t score big with a wide audience due to its specialization, it will no doubt strike the right chord with the section it’s trying to reach.

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