Norway - Full Moon 58 - 07/05/01
Terrible, Terrible Wankers EP
Two Zero Records
I don't know what it is about Norway and surf music. It seems like a contradiction. We don't
have endless summers here, it rains much more frequently than in southern California to say the
least, and the waves are not suited for ordinary surfing. But we have to make the most of it!
In the 60s there were a few bands playing the Shadows' kind of instrumental guitar music.
Well-known jazz guitarist and classical composer Terje Rypdal was a hero in one of them. Around
1980 a couple of new wave bands played ska and punk versions of Shadows' Apache. At the
same time the younger brother of my boyhood friend had started windsurfing. He went on all year
long - in icy waters during winter - until he was a world champion! It's true. Norway's most
respected surf band these days The Beat Tornados (see our review of their
debut album) originate from the same area. And purely
incidentally a couple of the Tremolo Wankers was born and bred here too.
The legend page of the Tremolo Wankers
site tells what we have
to deal with:
"The arrival of new drummer Mr. Rock, instantly
brought about a few changes in style: From now on the Wankers dedicated every song to the
Goddess of fuzz-bass, hardcore drums, burning organs and screaming mean guitars. The Goddess
smiled back and offered a blessing in return: For as long as the Wankers remained true to their
style and never lost their grip, she would provide an endless amount of magic potions that
forever would enchant every man or woman present at a Wankers gig!
A Wankers gig is a demonstration of earsplitting apemanship. The Terrible, Terrible
Wankers EP is not recorded live, but after all tells us what the Wankers are fiddling with.
They're stretching the limits of the genre in several directions. The opener Spaghetti Fever is
classic Dick Dale surf with a bit of Morricone guitar thrown in for good measure. Otherwise we
get Norwegian folk-surf, film-noir-surf, balalaika-surf, punk-surf, ska-surf (not ska rhythms,
but a burning Farfisa sound from an old Yamaha organ that any ska band would kill for) and vocal
surf. The latter without sweet harmonies, quite the opposite, rough US 60s punk vocals of the
Stooges and MC5 kind! If you don't have the opportunity to witness the Wankers live, the EP is
a vital substitute. As a vocal surf group once sang: It's fun, fun, fun!!! And hey presto; the
sky is blue, the temperature of surf waters is rising and summer holiday is just round the
Copyright © 2001 JP