The Curse of Rock Bottom Reef

The Riptide Bandits

The Curse of Rock Bottom Reef, The Riptide Bandits’ new CD, begins with the sound of a needle dropping on a record before launching into “Dusty Chaps” and “High Noon Heist,” a couple of Spaghetti Western stomps. The local band, as the name implies, plays surf rock, and plays it convincingly—straight-up staccato and reverb—and some of the best tracks also draw from surf rock’s Italian cousin, the Ennio Morricone movie score. The music is dramatic, energetic and often cinematic. It’s hard to listen to these songs and not imagine a gruesome wipe-out reel, or Vincent Vega dancing, or Clint Eastwood riding into town. The music is 98 percent instrumental, though the band flexes some lyrical wit with song titles—“Sand and Fury” is a particularly good one. The album can get a tad repetitive over the course of the full-length, but it’s often thrilling, sometimes scarily so, sometimes triumphantly.