The Fort Wayne surf rock purveyors Strange Waters have returned, much like the tide, for another round of surfin’ jangle and deep sea rockin’ and rollin’. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water Strange Waters have returned to blow your mind, eardrums, and speakers with the killer 9-track Deep Dive.
The band, which consists of Mark Brody(guitar), Jon Schafer(bass), Chris Lewis(drums), and what appears to be a mysterious stranger in a ten-gallon hat, cigar dangling from his mouth, and Gretsch strapped to his person wrote, recorded, produced, and mixed the album completely on their own in the Atlantis-like underwater lair in which the band creates. The result is a killer surf rock album in the classic tradition of artists like The Ventures, The Surfaris, and Dick Dale, but with the spirit of punk rock just under the surface.
With things like “pipe smoker”, “maker of old-fashioneds”, and “loves giraffes” as points of interests listed for the band members, you know you’re in for a fun ride. “Particle Beams, Check!” blasts out of the speakers part Bel-Airs, part Blasters, and part Dead Kennedys in a flurry of buzzing Jazzmaster and “the baddest bass tone ever”. Title track “Deep Dive” builds to an almost Middle-Eastern crescendo. It’s big and mean like the biggest wave you’ve ever seen.
Tracks like “Line ’em Up”, “Crabbin'”, or the rough ‘n tumble “A Million Miles To Nowhere” show both the band’s precise musicianship and knack for searching the depths for a great melody to hook you with.
Surf music reminds me of my dad. He was a Midwest hot rodder and used to street race in the mid-60s. His jams were Jan and Dean, The Ventures, Link Wray, and The Bel Airs. I was never into the scene, until one New Year’s Eve I downloaded a Ventures collection for my dad and burnt it on a CD for him. I started listening to it on a whim and kind of fell hard for it. Sure I dug The Lively Ones’ “Surf Rider” because of Tarantino, but it wasn’t until The Ventures that I got it. Listening to Strange Waters I can hear they get it, too.