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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Texas surf... it's real!

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EDIT MAY 2017: I'm not going to list every band in this initial post, make sure to scroll through the thread. However, Ted from Deep Eddy Records has created this page with links to all the bands that have played Second Saturday Surf in Austin since we started in 2012. -> click on "The Bands"

Hey y'all, I wanted to make a central post for all the incredible bands playing in Texas these days. I've hosted a monthly surf night in Austin for the past couple years and it's been a thrill to see and meet such great people playing a wide variety of surf music. This first post is a (San Antonio/Austin-centric) run-down of the bands I've seen, use it as a jumping point to check them out, add more - past and present - that I didn't and talk about some of these great modern surf artists!

In no particular order...
The Thunderchiefs
One of the more widely-known locals, and for good reason. Classic surf sound.

Los SuperAvengers
Classic surf sound clearly inspired by Los Straitjackets, with a bit of comedy in the mix.

The Nematoads
Deep Eddy Records head honcho Ted James leads this adventurous trio that explores surf with a touch of prog and lots of cinematic influences.

The Del-Vipers
A lot of classic influence, but with an ear toward the high-energy hot rod sound with some dizzying arrangements.

Machete Western
A touch of sinister surf and a heap of psychobilly and glam rock, these guys put on an incredible show. Most songs have vocals, but when their singer is out of town the band carries on as the more classically surf Desperate Housewine.

3 Balls Of Fire
The Men With The Burning Guitars, Mike Vernon leads this Austin ex-pat band. Mike plays in Davie Allan's band in California and beyond, but we love it when he comes back for short visits home.

The Boss Jaguars
Usually the busiest band of the bunch in Austin, The Boss Jags run the whole breadth of surf, from campy beach themes and tiki instrumentals to raging originals and clever arrangements of both classic and off-the-wall material.

The Really Rottens
Surf-Trash-Au-Go-Go! Lots of Link Wray in their sound, with energetic originals and revved-up covers. Probably the first local band I saw in Austin, hope I get to see them again!

The Spoils
My band. Somebody at a recent show called us "the Minor Threat of surf" and I'll take that comparison gladly! Mostly original, high-energy noisy surf with folk influences from Asia and Eastern Europe.

Lake Of Fire
A new-ish band with mostly really excellent, moody covers of first-wave surf deep cuts so far, but they're working on originals that show a lot of promise.

The Poi Pounders
1950's R&B instrumentals as much as surf, with a little polka thrown in occasionally!

Still teenagers, these guys rip through the classics as well as new tracks from bands like Slacktone.

The Gallows Drifters
Unique band that doesn't get together much now, but it's a very cool spaghetti western sound with heavy emphasis on the accordion. Many of the songs were written with an original Western story in mind.

Bat City Surfers
Horror surf with a touch of metal shredding.

The Baffles
Cinematic covers ranging from noir to the bombastic, lots of keys.

The Gory Details
Sadly no longer playing, Farfisa-led horror surf-punk.

A mix of psych/garage vocal rock with reverb-drenched instros.

Not necessarily defunct, but on the shelf for now. Digital surf with a humorous touch of horror.

Wax Animals
A drums-and-guitar duo for now, lots of MOA? influence.

The Avocados
Excellent classic surf sound with heavy use of keyboard.

The Dead Sea
Moodier classic surf inspired, mainly originals.

The Frightened City
A mix of new wave and noir with driving surf, lots of keyboards here too.

The Deadly Fathoms
New band with a sinister sound.

The Fintastics
New group from north Texas, repping the classic sound.

King Pelican
Hard-working and hard-playing, these guys bring a ton of tasteful chops to their mainly original sets.

The Phantomatics
Lone Star Beer-approved! Drag-racing instrumentals with a creepy vibe.

The Sandworms
Intense spooky surf with some organ sounds too.

Nuclear Juarez
Brian Parrish of The Casbah radio show drums for this group of desert surfers.

The Sonomatics
Bluesy take on the fast drag-surf sound.

The Spoils - FB - RN
Second Saturday Surf in Austin, TX - FB

Last edited: May 15, 2017 15:04:24

This is a fantastic list of bands! As the guitar player and originator of The Fintastics, I am extremely excited to be performing with my band in Austin, Texas on Saturday, March 12th. (Our first show with the new line-up)! Thanks for all your help keeping surf instrumental music alive!

Gellert (my first name)

Guitarist for The Fintastics

Wow, we're in the scene and I didn't even know there were THAT many bands! Just for historical perspective the last great Surf Uproar in Austin in the 90's featured:

The Sand Blasters - Uber creative Surf, Spy, Spaghetti, and everything else
Teisco Del Rey and The Delreylettes (my favorite iteration)
Death Valley - Spaghetti Western at it's best
The Surf Finks (The Surf Finks, Death Valley, High Noon, and The Fly Rite Boys all contribute members to The Thunderchiefs. Do the math.)
Squid Viscous

Impressive!!! What a great resource!

When I first discovered Deep Eddy records, there was the Texas surf circuit. That name probably isn't correct but there were places in Texas that had surf nights. I think this was 1997.

klob wrote:

Hey y'all, I wanted to make a central post for all the incredible bands playing in Texas these days. I've hosted a monthly surf night in Austin for the past couple years

Many thanks for the surf nights that happened due to you; been to a few of them, seen some of these groups, all first-rate.

TuneFan, glad you've enjoyed Second Saturday Surf! Was just talking at my Spoils show tonight with Winston from The Baffles about how every night's been a good night for quite a while.

wfoguy, I would love to know more about this circuit you mention! One '90s artist I forgot to mention is Herman The German, who plays a whole set of polka-surf wearing a WWI helmet, it's really great. The Poi Pounders play one of his songs, I think, right Shaan?

The Spoils - FB - RN
Second Saturday Surf in Austin, TX - FB

What they said above. Austin is guitar central. Puts rest of the country to shame.

Squink Out!

This is fantastic Klob! You guys are killing it!


The oldest cd I have from Deep Eddy is dated 1997. It's Reef Madness. It has Squid Vicious and Pollo Del Mar on it with 24 bands total. The next is Fiberglass Jungle from 1998. It has 24 bands again such as Los Mel-tones and The Woodies. I faintly remember a once a month deal in Austin and sometimes Dallas that a club would have several bands for a surf night. That's 600 miles away from me and the time never worked out right for me to guy. There was a guy in Salt Lake City back then selling cd's also. Soon after that, I found POP records owned by Ferenc. That was the beginning of my collection. Ted James could tell the history of the Texas surf scene.

Great thread! I'm one of the many that looks forward to 2nd Sat. Surf every month. Thanks for the great showcases.

Also - that's a spot on description of King Pelican, can't get enough of those guys. Highly recommend them.

Time to check out some of these bands I haven't heard yet.

From past me to future you

Great job, Kaleb! We've really enjoyed sharing the stage with many of the awesome bands on that list. Also, really great job growing "Second Saturday Surf", it's become a top notch event and KP is looking forward to being back on the Nomad stage for the March edition.

Last edited: Jan 16, 2016 17:29:02

Again, thanks for posting these links all in one place. THis page is my go-to for new surf music now! I have only had time to open the first half of the links you provided and am still listening to the crazy sounds of the Del-Vipes. I have a lot of homework still to do on the Austin surf guitar scene. Thanks for inspiration, wish I lived in Austin. But LA has better weather and sights.

Squink Out!

wfoguy wrote:

Ted James could tell the history of the Texas surf scene.

Ted is at most of the Second Saturday Surf shows with a table full of Deep Eddy Records CDs. He's got his hands full with a new job, but I know he has plans to tell more of that story soon!

Glad to hear y'all checking out these bands! Yeah, the Del-Vipers and King Pelican are top-tier players, and both put a lot of time and effort into their recordings as well, worth many listens.

Ernest, I'm really looking forward to March too! I've been having to absentee-host these and let Ted or the bands run things the last couple months, and still not sure if I can make February. March looks like a sure thing though. Smile

The Spoils - FB - RN
Second Saturday Surf in Austin, TX - FB

Forgot to say I would LOVE to hear from anybody who can talk about current (or past) surf bands from Houston, DFW, the Valley, El Paso...anywhere else in this giant state!

The Spoils - FB - RN
Second Saturday Surf in Austin, TX - FB

No doubt, Ted should publish his memoirs on the history of South Texas Surf.

Kaleb, thanks for the good words...hopefully we'll see you in March. BTW, we'll be at The Carousel next Saturday, if you're free.

Appreciate the kind words as well Kaleb, definitely more & more bands popping up around town with a surf vibe. New records from King Pelican & The Avocados among my favorite, everyone do yourselves a favor and scope those.

The Del-Vipers

I'm so jealous and hope to make it out there sooner rather than later. Like Jeremy said, you guys are killing it and are definitely an inspiration.

The Squares - 1995-2002
The Mystery Men? - 2012-
MOONBASE - 2012-2017
The KBK - 2017
Southern Surf Stomp!


There was a cool band out of Dallas called The Nitrons that had Lucky Linda Garner on Bass who also played with Teisco Del Rey. Also, the polka we play is the Raz Ma Taz Polka which is a standard but is pretty much the way Buck Owen's Buckaroos do it.

Last edited: Jan 22, 2016 13:26:51

My band, Dude Man Hey, is just starting out in Houston. Look for us soon!

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