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The Thirty Eights: Secret Flavour

A rewarding exploration of surf rock.

26 Oct 2017 / Opinion, Review / written by Stian Maritz

The second EP from The Thirty Eights sees them branching out with their signature approach of using rockabilly instruments to make surf music. While their first EP was all covers, their follow-up “Secret Flavour” is packed with originals.

The entirety of this EP was recorded in the space of a day with the entire band playing together at once so you can expect the sound to be a little raw, but it’s intentional. There’s a slight looseness of arrangements as well as tempo, a pushing and pulling effect that adds welcome dynamics to a great deal of “Secret Flavour”. It’s a hard genre to stand out in so this is a definite plus.

Most tracks on “Secret Flavour” hover at about two-and-a-half minutes with feel ranging from mellow to manic. Without the presence of vocals it falls to the lead guitar to exploit differing melodic ideas and keep things interesting. In this case that venture is a great success owing to the constantly changing combination of major, minor and blues ideas.

‘Badlands’ is a standout owing to the highly motivated tempo and extra dirty guitar tone. Manic tremolo picking and daring lines navigate the song with tangible effort so that you can really feel the exertion while the extra drive sets it apart sonically.

The Thrity Eights are taking on a genre that does not allow much room for exploration and are attempting to push it to its very limits, “Secret Flavour” lives up to its title in this regard.

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Listen to “Secret Flavour” below.