It's hard not to fall in love with a good surf-rock album this time of year. In a strange twist on the clouds and gloom that typically define San Francisco summers, this August has been downright sweltering, and our escapes to Ocean Beach have been begging for a soundtrack. Luckily for us, Las Piñas' El Perro Beach is just the medicine we were looking for.
The Argentinian duo, consisting of Sofia Cardich and Antonela Perigo, got together under similarly sweaty circumstances a little over two years ago. Hiding from an apparently epic Buenos Aires heatwave in Sofia's basement, they channeled their misery and the influences of their beachy forebears to create some wonderfully cheeky, lackadaisical pop, and they've been at it ever since.
With El Perro Beach, Las Piñas have found the perfect balance between high-quality production and lo-fi, DIY garage rock. The fuzzy guitars and simple instrumentation are standard enough in the genre, but they belie some seriously astute songwriting chops that are evident with every infectious hook and chorus. This is thoughtful music that puts on airs of laziness, not the other way around.
Given that I barely speak enough Spanish to haggle at the farmers market, I can't say much about the lyrics, but the rough-around-the-edges vocal delivery certainly helps to set the atmosphere. The album is completely unpretentious, and that approachability might be its biggest selling point. It feels like you're listening to your good friends' basement project.
The four-track EP is out now on San Antonio-based label Yippee Ki Yay Records, and it's perfectly fitting that the only physical copy available is a cassette. El Perro Beach is one to stick in the tape deck (assuming that, like us, your cars are still old and crappy enough to have one) and leave there until fall. It might not cool you down, but at least it'll make the heat that much more fun.