Remember the first time you heard the introduction to the song “Wipe Out”? The crack of the fake board and that hysterical laugh: “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-a, wipeout!” Then it breaks into that driving drum beat only to have the electric guitar sweep you away the same way a wave would go crashing over your head if you were actually on a surfboard. Just the mere mention of the word “wipeout” probably conjures up visions of surf, sun, sand and bikinis. It’s a sound that was synonymous with Southern California in the early ‘60s and turned everyone’s backyard barbecue into a beach party when it came on the radio. It spawned the term “surf rock,” defined a generation, and ushered in a wave of talented musicians such as Dick Dale, The Chantays and The Beach Boys.
Sometimes the days of fun in the sun are few and far between here in Portland, but luckily this city has a tradition of keeping great musical genres alive. One of PDX’s newest duos, Surf Stoned and the Sun Drunks, are looking to bring back that classic surf rock sound and all the fun and nostalgia that come with it. Comprised of guitarist Dillon Nunes and drummer Phil Garrison, these two goofy-foot kooks know how to rock the riffs and ride the crumblies.
With a coolness like the ocean breeze and a swagger like Jagger, Garrison and Nunes take you through pipelines and swells on the grace of a freshly waxed log. Nunes has a great penchant for giving the audience a dousing of that wet reverb sound while Garrison’s well-timed tempo keeps you upright throughout the night. It’s a well-balanced treat equal to a beer on the beach in the afternoon sun.
While fairly recently formed, Surf Stoned and the Sun Drunks are looking to make a splash on the Portland music scene just as the summer sun begins to take hold. They recently played a pumping set at the White Eagle Saloon incorporating a flurry of beach balls and some retro surf films as stage accoutrement, and are booked to play at the Tonic Lounge (now apparently Panic Room Bar thanks to Spike TV's Bar Rescue) this Wednesday, April 15 with Vincent Van Whoa and Lubec. Tickets are available at the door for only $5 and benefit the college radio station KPSU.
If you’re looking to sample a bit of their surf rock sound—just to get wet—check out Surf Stoned and the Sun Drunks' demo track “Side A” below.