- Surf Music
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The Tentakills • Rage of Aquarius
Tabu Recordings • houseoftabu.com
Springing from the murky depths of the St. Joseph River that runs through South Bend, Indiana; the raging sounds of drippy reverb and tribal drum beats cut through the city. A musical sound that’s so refreshing, people in the local scene clench to it like a life preserver in a tsunami. It’s an instrumental surf rock siren! It’s an astounding sound! It takes us by surprise and tells us, “The Tentakills have arrived!”
The Tentakills took what the elder surf gods created in the first wave of surf rock. The band turned it up a notch with penchant for faster beats and aggressive guitar licks. The band has created a sound all their own while staying true to instrumental surf. Keeping a focus of melody, The Tentakills combine the band member’s diverse musical backgrounds of punk, rock and country.
With members Bill Finn on drums, Tai Barger and Travis Thomas on guitars, and Mike Howard on bass, the quartet formed after having the opportunity to start a band that had been in their collective minds for decades. Seeing the legendary Dick Dale perform live kicked the idea into high gear and the band emerged as The Tentakills in 2018.
Since then The Tentakills have played many great local and regional shows, including two South Bend music festivals; Riverlights Music Fest and South Bend Fringe Fest. They were honored when asked to perform at the Dick Dale Tribute Show at the Melody Inn, Indianapolis, Indiana. They have shared the stage with several notable bands, including Surfer Joe, The Madeira, Daikaiju and The Concussions.
Their first album, Rage of Aquarius represents the band’s best musical efforts combined with finest detail to their sound. The album was recorded and mixed at The Golden Mallard in Elkhart, Indiana and mastered at The Boiler Room in Chicago, Illinois. Rage of Aquarius is the rush and rage of reverb-soaked surf with an edge, exclusively produced by The Tentakills.
“This is the debut release from the South Bend, Indiana surf quartet whose mutual love of Dick Dale got them started back in 2018. Their energy, influences and reverb-soaked goodness have even made me overcome my undying hatred of puns, which is no small feat my friends. I also like that one or more of the members of this band are hardcore classic rock fans, if not straight-up metalheads. You can definitely hear those influences in the songs right from the start, and it may be what sets the ‘Kills apart from the average group that simply studied the Ventures playbook. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still classic surf throughout and the production of the lp could definitely fool some untuned ears into thinking it came out 40 years ago. A good example of this is the track “Grit,” which was one of my favorites along with “Drawn and Quartered,” and “Dog Days.” I hear a heavy Shadowey Men on a Shadowey Planet vibe lacing through the record, along with some other more new wave-y influences like the B-52’s and the Dead Milkmen believe it or not. (see: “A Horse Named Artax”) As I said, it’s still surf music, it just comes from a lot of different places, which is what I think makes it cool. I have never had the opportunity to see them live, but I’m guessing that they are a gas. The songs are dynamic, with solid tones and some blistering leads - always a good combo that rarely disappoints. These fellas are not one-trick ponies - the songs are varied and well done, which is an accomplishment for any debut recording. I expect that these chaps are only getting started. Check it.”
– Jeremy S. Grites • Bad Decisions Club
Recorded and Mixed at The Golden Mallard • Elkhart, Indiana
Mastered at The Boiler Room • Chicago, Illinois
Cover Art and Design by Ken Holewczynski
Pressed at Smashed Plastic • Chicago, Illinois
Rage of Aquarius
Split the Sea
Drawn & Quartered
Death & Taxes
A Horse Named Artax
Low Tide/High Tide
Ghosts of Atlantis