Thee Irma & Louise


Thee Irma & Louise Kill List Cassette

As a lover of surf music, this tape was a pleasant surprise. THEE IRMA & LOUISE from Bern, Switzerland have apparently been a band since 2002, and have a whole slew of vinyl releases under their belt, which I will certainly be looking into now that I have been exposed to their newest release. Kill List appears to be the band’s first cassette release, and is ten tracks of surf-infused punk—or should I say punk-infused surf? The songs range in tempo from slow and creepy to fast punk, and one of the few vocal numbers actually sounds oddly similar to “El Dorado” by AGENT ORANGE. Guitar tones are pretty distorted, and there is a lot of spooky organ peppered in, leading me to assume they’re more inspired by punk bands doing instrumentals, such as “Surf Bat” by 45 GRAVE rather than by ’60s surf music. While not my favorite take on surf, they do the style very well, and some of the tunes are incredibly catchy. What’s more: they keep most of the tracks instrumental, the way this reviewer feels surf music should be. Once you go vocal, you lose me a little bit. Having only two vocal numbers on this ten-song cassette, I like those odds. What really confuses me about this tape is all ten songs listed are on the A-side of the tape, while the B-side is roughly ten minutes of feedback and stick clicks as if a song is about to start, but never actually does, followed by a strange instrumental industrial song. Unnecessary. The A-side will be rewound and played many times over.

Thee Irma & Louise Dry Bones LP

This record has such an ’80s feel. Back then, we’d simply call it college rock. It’s got a quirky musical style that is herky-jerky, filled with odd chords and time signatures, and there are elements of surf rock and post-punk. The singer has a serious but goofy vocal style, and the lyrics are thinkers such as “What Did The Deep Sea Say?” THEE IRMA & LOUISE probably would have been big in the ’80s. The insert states “This record is the companion piece to an experimental movie that you are free to shoot.” Hey, why not give it a shot? It’s on pretty, swirly lime sherbet vinyl, too.