Southern California will always be known for sunny pop and the carefree lifestyle it glorifies. Where else could a term like “surf rock” be coined and flourish but on the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean ? L.A. ‘s The Tyde is what would be playing from the smoke-filled van Jeff Spicoli stumbled from if Fast Times At Ridgemont High had been soundtracked today. Listening to the band’s third offering, Three’s Co. (following Once and Twice, get it?) will make you want to slip on your checkered vans and head for the coast.
Frontman Darren Rademaker must have a real weakness for hangin’ ten. He and his band mates conjure a version of surf-rock influenced as much by the Beach Boys as it is by Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. Like its namesake, The Tyde washes over listeners and pulls them out to float in a sea of billowing guitars before returning them safely to the shore. And speaking of The Shore, The Tyde share musical likeness with those similarly named Californians, as well as fellow Los Angelinos Irving. At times the undertow can seem a bit strong, but Rademaker and his troop keep things generally light on Three’s Co.
Fuzzy guitar riffs ignite “Brock Landers” before the piano stomps over what must be a Boogie Nights reference of “jealousy will get you nowhere,” Rademaker’s static-ridden vocals repeated like a mantra over chiming cow bells. The piano ballad “Separate Cars” finds the band in earnest form, marking their most introspective tune to date as Ann Rademaker plays the keys with elaborate delicacy, as mellotron whirls alongside. The acoustic guitar thrust of “Glassbottom Lights” surprises with a gently droning synthesizer and Rademaker’s newfound pensiveness.
The Tyde transition tactfully between the contemporary pop sounds of the aforementioned Cali bands and some Velvet Underground-like slow wonders. “The Lamest Shows” features Rademaker’s best Reed croon and, believe it or not, an anti drug message, “And I send this like a cancer to the thirty-year-old dancer in his ex-girlfriend’s clothes/With a note up his nose/ Am I getting too old?” The soothing island sway of “Aloha Breeze” is like watching tide pools fill as the sun melts into the sea in summertime, a perfect way to end a day on the beach. I can’t imagine a time when the combination of sun, surf, and scantily clad beachgoers on gorgeous shorelines will cease to influence the musical scene of So Cal. So as long as the waves crash against the sand and The Tyde rushes in and out, music lovers will have reason to smile.