Snap Sounds: Guantanamo Baywatch

Pub date July 19, 2012
WriterEmily Savage


Thick, wet reverb lays the sexy underwater groundwork for most Guantanamo Baywatch songs. Those surfy chords echo forever then build to dissolving fizzy chaos on the sleazy Portland, Oreg. trio’s full-length Chest Crawl, which veers towards the Ventures on uppers during mostly instrumental songs like opener “Barbacoa” and the title track, or rises to unintelligible screams like Dick Dale on crank on tracks such as “Frizella” and energetic doo-wop standout “Baby Please.”

There’s also some Phantom Surfers and our own nasally King Lollipop/Shannon and the Clams underpinnings, but this is under such a haze it’s difficult to make those direct comparisons. Despite all the racket, the record has the right timing for aliens go-go dancing on mars. Or better yet, San Franciscans surfing an urban packed bus.