Surfing Caos by Iguana Lovers

Release date: July 14, 2017
Label: Self-Released

If you are a fan of shoegaze/psych rock/dream pop music then you might be familiar with the Argentinian band, Iguana Lovers. They’ve been around since 1991, having recorded their first release, Universo at that time. Before writing this review, I didn’t know much about the band. My interest in knowing more about them and their release, Surfing Caos, was piqued by their cool band name.

I went searching for more information on-line and that’s where things got fuzzy. The album in question, Surfing Caos, has two release dates. From what I could gather from doing my own research, it seems that a live album was recorded while on tour, opening for Jesus and the Mary Chain in 2014 in Buenos Aires and continuing onto Manchester and Oxford. The band also had guest musicians Adrián Yanzón (Los Pillos) on vocals, Martyn Walsh (Inspiral Carpets) on bass, Laurence Colbert (RIDE) on drums and Mark Gardener (RIDE) who mixed and did post production on the album. Then in July of 2017, the album was released again. I’m assuming that the album might have been remastered since I cannot find the reason for the re-release. In any case, this did not detract from the task at hand, which was to listen and review the album.

As the album title suggests, the vibe of the album exudes that feeling of a cool but laid-back rush one might get while surfing. I myself have never gone surfing but I enjoy watching it being done. The album cover art is a perfect backdrop while listening to the album.

Overall, the album stayed true to its theme and was wonderfully consistent throughout. I loved the album right from the opening riff. There are several tracks that stood out for me. The first track, ‘Quien’, gets right into it with its dirty guitars and hard-hitting drums. Once ‘Colonias Espaciales’ started, I could definitely hear RIDE’s influence on the band. As the track title eludes to, it was definitely spacey with its dreamy vocals and guitars. This is one of my favorite tracks off the album.

The vocals, both lead and backing, are great on this album as well. They were on par with the rest of the band and added to the laid back, airy feel of the album. I love the quirky backing vocals on the track, ‘Moverte’. As the track title suggests, it does make you move with it’s driving beat.

‘Mersey Bit’, really brings me back to the early 90s alternative rock sound. Reminiscent of bands like the Grapes of Wrath and of course, RIDE.

I loved the bass line on the track, ‘Surf and Destroy’. It provides the “destroy” end of things allowing everything else to “surf” over top.

The frenetic and multi-layered ride of ‘Mar’ is great and also makes this one of my favorite tracks off the album. The effect laden guitars and bass are so incredibly awesome. The vocals are on point, providing the dreamy feel over-top the hard-hitting sounds of the guitars and drums.

I loved the use of guitar effects on the album, it provided that wet reverb sound that fit so well with the theme of their album. The last track, ‘Cerca de Vos’, really brought this all home and it was a great way to end the ride.

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