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Positive Feedback ISSUE 71
january/february 2014


Surf Riot
by Annie Merkley


surf riot

New music for the new year! Surf Riot is a Long Beach based group that formed when Denver natives Angela Jane Bachmann and Crisanta Baker met on the west coast in 2013. Armed with their axes, they put their creative minds together to compose an ocean of sound with bombastic and fantastic ups and downs. The collaboration of song writing in the group is apparent with a culmination of varied voices and styles.

surf riot

The talented ladies recruited Michael Procaccini on bass and imported Goose Holyoak (Norma Jean, Fear Before the March of Flames) to play drums. They recorded a three-song collection with Steve Choi (Rx Bandits, TSOAF, Peace'd Out). The songs were released December 6th 2013, and are available for free download on

Accompanying the release of the songs they also put up a video that was shot in a live studio setting. The collection was christened as "The Bright Lights Studio Sessions," that is an impressive introduction to Surf Riot. The pairing of visuals and music is a great way to get to know the band. It's an intimate shoot that puts you right in the room: sweat, smiles and all. The Woods was the first video released on

The Woods starts off with Crisanta's voice chiming in with a haunting nursery rhyme style melody with intonation invoking Kim Deal of the Pixies. The fuzzed out guitar and heavy bass are an intoxicating juxtaposition to the sweetness of the harmonies between Crisanta, Angela Jane and Michael. The pattern of the guitar playing is playful as the lyrics and vocals repeat to create a contemplative tension. Moments of sparseness are mixed with a wall of distortion and layered reverbed singing strikes a chord comparable to Blonde Redhead. The single note lead guitar pulls heartstrings similar to acts like Joy Division, The Strokes and Interpol.

Angela's Song is the next song to have a video debuted online January 23rd, 2014. It comes in at a galloping speed with driving drums, riveting baseline, Angela's golden vocals, and a dreamy delayed guitar strum. It gives a glimmer of inspiration of Surf Rock, though it's something entirely new. Smart, modern rock-pop with creative time changes, catchy hooks and expertly delivered musicianship. The movement of the song is a joyous raucous excitement. At moments Angela's delivery has the flavor of other artsy, daring front women such as St. Vincent and Feist. Singing along to the guitar melody she shows off her sassy side a la Jarvis Cocker from Pulp.

surf riot

In You are an Aperture the ladies show off their guitar playing chops with thoughtful intricacies and choppy rhythm that seems it could come apart at the seams, but triumphantly dances a line, embracing chaotic combinations. It harkens the likeness of The Good The Bad, and the Queen or even Gang of Four. The epic ending takes inspiration from The Beatles, Abby Road era, complete with drum rolls and escalating PJ Harvey-esc guitar tones. A powerful, provocative, breath-taking climax; Surf Riot knows how to rock!

Catch ‘em live at the Prospector on 7th Street and Junipero Avenue in Long Beach, Thursday January 30th. With special guests The New Octaves and Dennis Robicheau kicking it off at 10pm.