Kólga
Black Tides

Well, I used a flaming tree limb as an air guitar for the first time today (I should mention that I was pretending it was driftwood from some sunken wreck) so… that’s something new. But I couldn’t help it, something was possessing me and moving me forward to this lava black beach. Yeah, that’s right, I wanted to go surfing with big tittie goth chicks wearing corpse paint riding on an inverted cross surfboard. Living the best life. But I’m obviously not here to talk about my weird hopes and dreams.

You see, I have this album by a band I’ve never heard of (shocker!) They’re called Kólga and they’ve actually gone and created a new sub-genre Blackened Surf Rock. Let me tell you it’s fucking rad! Black Tides is hands down one of the most unique albums I’ve heard since VHS and their fantastic Deep Gashes and Long Lashes. These dudes play, literally everything; from the press release just look at this: KÓLGA: Jason Mullins – lead guitar, vocals, theremin, claps, James Magruder – guitar, castanets, auxiliary waterphone, claps, Jacob Price – synthesizer, organ, claps, Zach Jobin – drums, gongs, glockenspiel, guiro, tambourine, samples, claps, Aaron Gonzalez – bass guitar, gongs, waterphone, claps.

Put all that fucking talent together and you get a bastard child of the Beach Boys and Ventures if they had an orgy with Marduk and Dark Funeral. It’s ridiculous fun, and I haven’t even mentioned a song yet so… I should probably do that.

It all starts with the funky groove of “Space Beach Massacre” this shark of an opening track with ocean noise giving way to a bludgeoning riff, it sways and it blasts and rides black waves like a Sharknado. “Squall of Cthulhu” is track two and it is about as massive as the big green guy himself, with a gripping breakdown that has this super sexy swing.

“Tethis” is a slow burner, it crawls on a slimey underbelly with some excellent, lush solo work, this is my favorite song, it just moves like the waves. All nautical references aside, it feels like the water in my body moves with it. Weird as fuck don’t judge haha! “Riptide” has that Ventures twang in full force, and I’m surprised that I haven’t mentioned Dick Dale by now, because some of these riffs are him reincarnated. “Endless Bummer” is not a bummer at all, ripping along with a “Wipeout” meets Hawaii Five-O crusher vibe.

Did I mention there are next to no vocals on Black Tides? With the exception of the middle of “Is This Real?” and some vocals during the shredding, Emperor-esque riffing of the beastly “The Kraken” that closes the album with diabolical aplomb, Black Tides doesn’t really need lyrics to make this an enjoyable experience. That’s putting it purely mildly, because it picks you up and forces you to move in a way that a straight lyrical album wouldn’t, so yeah, it’s mostly instrumental… But it works and it fucking kills!

I swear I listened to this album for three hours straight and it’s not a particularly long album so that’s a lot of spins. The epic production helps bring this rogue wave of an album up from the murky depths. Black Tides has this magical allure to it, just look at the instruments that were used to record the album, holy fucking shit, with that many elements going into it the music makes the vocals, if that makes any sense. The human vocals just make an addition to what’s going on like an additional instrument.

So let’s see here, you for fans of are going to have fun with this one especially if you like Alestorm, Dick Dale, Ventures, and so many other influences that at the end of the day; just buy and listen to the damn album. You won’t be disappointed, and you have to love that cover art!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
April 4th, 2024

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