CARDIAC BEACH “Serf’s Coma” (AEscape Sounds)

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve hit maximum self-reference. The snake is eating its tail, I repeat, the snake is eating its tail. Cardiac Beach is a wonderful outfit, and “Serf’s Coma” is a fantastic tape release, but let’s face it – this is essentially a live vaporwave band. I truly didn’t think I’d live to see the day when plunderphonics would find its way into a physical space, bands mining the depths of their referential touchpoints and creating brand new sounds on instruments that call into question the very essence of being. What are we supposed to do with this information? How are we going to proceed from here?

Ooohhhhhhh – that’s how bands USED to do it: play live instruments, etc. OK, I can dig it.

I sort of kid, but man, Cardiac Beach really does sound like vaporwave gone native, gone human. Maybe it’s the sound of the crashing surf that permeates the recordings, maybe it’s the sincerity of Cardiac Beach’s reverence of littoral culture, maybe it’s the warble in the recording that reminds me of sunbaked masters – whatever it is, it takes a bit to realize what we’ve got here. But once we’re there, it’s easy to like pretty much everything about SERF’S COMA, for all the reasons I just mentioned, and also because it’s just a fantastic beach record. You pop this thing on at any given summer event, you’ve got an instant hit on your hands. And there’s very few vocals to distract from the hazy jams on this feel-good BBQ chart-topper, and when they’re there, they’re either wordless or sound wordless, mixed back, high over the rest of the tunes. So play the heck out of this thing until the tape starts to melt into itself, like it sounds like it’s doing at the end of “Cruise Ship Tycoon.” Spread the vibes, spread the love, and unleash your inner vacation self. You’ll be glad you did, and also that you started growing a beard and wearing Bermuda shirts to work.

AEscape Sounds

--Ryan Masteller