The Ramblin' Ambassadors Vista Cruiser Country Squire

With their timeless sound and reverence for classic surf, Calgary’s the Ramblin’ Ambassadors render these new songs with impressive muscular vigour. Featuring Brent J. Cooper (Huevos Rancheros) on lead guitar, listeners expecting punchy rhythms and twang-y, tremolo-enriched notes are rewarded. What’s unique about the Ramblin’ Ambassadors, however, is their resistance to any beach blanket posturing. While there are frills and some inherent quirkiness within their musicianship, the band’s arrangements are meaningful and free of contrivance. Surftones cover "Cecilia Ann” is a tightly wound ball of energy whose rich guitar lines soar over the exuberant drums and double bass of Tyler Pickering and Scott Nickless. Like a good old Western frontier number by Calexico, "Frank Slide Song” is evocative, just as "Lonesome Rambler” hints at Drive Like Jehu tones, only to morph into playful blues. Complete with a crack at the Sadies’ "Rat Creek,” Vista Cruiser Country Squire firmly establishes the Ramblin’ Ambassadors as one of the finest instrumental outfits around. (Mint)