Von Drats Dratsylvania

While initial glances at Toronto, ON's Von Drats might yield expectations for yet another 'billy band full of slapping, popping and all things psycho-tinged, the truth of the matter is that this collective are way beyond such obvious simplicities. The majority of their songs are instrumental ditties that don't require a singer bleating away over top of the smooth, rich tunes they create. Retrospective yet still incredibly advanced, Dratsylvania has an atmosphere all to itself: a true sense of airy, reverb-laden surf, punk and garage rock reminiscent of what made acts such as Huevos Rancheros and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet so revered in their day. Light-hearted, yet never lacking ingenuity, slick performances or an overall feeling that we should be grabbing a board and shooting the curl, the album is a half-hour of original, slinky twang, shuffle beats and one-note lead melodies the Ventures only wished they were capable of. (Stereo Dynamite)