Monday, November 30th, 2009

TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing

Wherein it turns out Rodney J. Greene was Doug Robertson in disguise all along…


Rodney J. Greene: The production is handled commendably, given just the deftest of touch, but they squander it by coasting along, never risking a wipeout.

Anthony Easton: I was not convinced about the efficacy of this work until the chorus about being down by the rollercoasters, which is so sweet and teenagey, and completely innocent (i.e. seductive)

Chris Boeckmann: It’s been a good, um, two years since THE OC ended and an even better four years since we all stopped watching it, so I feel pretty safe stepping back and declaring it one of the most classic TV shows of all-time. The breezy, fun, hooky “Let’s Go Surfing” would have made a really dope transition from credits to opening scene. But thing is, “Let’s Go Surfing” is actually more than that: it’s an anthem. “Obama, I want to go surfing,” they may (or may not) sing. Whatever the case, I can imagine Ryan, Marissa and the gang chanting that at a concert, and I can imagine it subsequently becoming a t-shirt slogan. I wouldn’t have complained.

Dan MacRae: Wouldn’t it be great if it was “Obama, I wanna go surfing”, instead? Imagine the essays that would be written analyzing what a surf invitation to Barack Obama actually meant. Surfing as metaphor for insurance reform, for example.

Jordan Sargent: They can say that they aren’t singing “Obama/ I wanna go surfing” all they want but I”m not gonna believe them. And as much as that makes me want to step back and vomit, I admire the audaciousness. And if that hook puts you off, the guitars are catchier anyway.

Matt Cibula: The Boo Radleys shoutout is my favorite part of this one — no courage in its convictions.

Alex Macpherson: That’s some astonishingly feeble running and stretching on undignified display in the video, but these weaklings’ music has even less vim and vigour than their exercise.

Anthony Miccio: While the idea of a new band faithfully imitating a faithful imitation of a semipop moment isn’t exactly thrilling, all that keeps this Factory by way of Teenbeat trifle from providing a jittery contact high all the same is the singer, whose pro forma pleas stink of second-hand irony.

Ian Mathers: You know, there’s a reason an awful lot of surf rock was instrumental (you can keep the whistling though, that’s fine). The only time this even approaches interesting is at the end when the vocals start getting phased into stuttering, err, waves as the track comes to a halt. If they’d done that throughout, and more overtly, this might actually be worth listening to twice (I checked, and it isn’t).

Chuck Eddy: Where has that “down down baby, down by the rollercoaster” chant been used before? It’s in some totally classic song, but I can’t place it. Anyway, that took me be surprise. And there’s at least a soupçon of hang-ten twang to the guitar, too. But these pale and frail lads…well, they really do sound like underfed ponces who’d ask their Mums whether they’re allowed to go surfing. And then they don’t do it, because there’s no surf in Liverpool. Honestly, I’m not convinced they’ve seen an hour of sunlight in their lives. Weird thing is, I like this okay anyway — is it possible I miss well-done shambling? God, I hope not. (Wait, they’re from Brooklyn??? WTF?)

Michaelangelo Matos: They sound like the closest they’ve gotten to the water anytime recently was admiring the aquarium at the post-grad ceremony hosted by the cool economics prof, but I like their thrumming little beats and whistled hook, and totally believe they’ll make it to the beach someday. Whether they’ll do something other than sit in the shade and read another Brian Wilson bio remains to be seen.

Martin Skidmore: I almost like the clumsy whistling, which is catchy, but the overall amateurish indie or maybe post-punk sensibility bores me. Someone could do a good cover of this, I think.

4 Responses to “TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing”

  1. Where has that “down down baby, down by the rollercoaster” chant been used before?

    Well duh, Nelly’s “Country Grammar” sort of, right? (But he didn’t invent it. And I feel like it’s in an even more classic song than that, too — maybe from the early ’60s?)

  2. It’s just a playground chant, isn’t it? Or that’s how I know it.

  3. Of course — but I’m pretty sure this (and Nelly) aren’t the first times it’s been approporiated musically. (I was thinking “Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop” by Little Anthony and the Imperials, but it doesn’t seem to be in that one.)

    Google reveals that God Is My Co-Pilot have a “Down Down Baby” song that uses it, but they never had a hit, obviously, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard them.

  4. Digital Underground, “Kiss You Back”
    Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps”