Charlie Don't Surf
Gig Seeker Pro

Charlie Don't Surf

Band Alternative Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Charlie Don't Surf"

Charlie Don't Surf

Charlie Don’t Surf’s independent release Kvalitetsstoy is a solid debut album and step in the right direction for rock music (distinguishable from both pop-rock and alternative) at large.

There are no catchy lyrics, no radio-ready hooks (which makes sense from a band with no vocalist). The band’s music and listeners both benefit from the willingness to do the abnormal. I’m hesitant to call this prog-rock, but that seems as close as I can come to defining the cacophony that isn’t one. At times the production on the disk (especially the unintelligible noises which begin and close several movements) are reminiscent of The Mars Volta’s De-Loused in the Comatorium, so perhaps prog-rock is close enough, if you absolutely must have the music defined.

The soundscapes are complex, as more than half the album tops the six minute mark. The guitar, drum, and bass have ample time to speak volumes. They seldom waste their chance. The moods are not hidden, there’s no distraction from attempts at clever wordplay. Where an alternative band would spit “get the fuck up!” into the mic, speedy drums and guitar-work wash over the listener to instill a frenzied feeling. On other movements, patient drums and a very subtle bass goes a long way towards creating a lonely, desert highway. Some bands mask dark lyrics with upbeat pop themes, or vice versa. Charlie Don’t Surf shows that it’s not necessary to resort to such devices to keep joy or sadness in a listener’s head.

As consistent as the playing of Bryan Ayers (drums), Josh Vance (guitar), and Frank Reber (bass) is, change is constant throughout the record. Every time the cadence of the drums sounds as if Ayers could loop it with equal success, there’s a shift to the pulse of the piece that adds a little extra vitality. All the same, Ayers’ drums never escape his control, even in the album’s most manic movements. On the track “New Skol” the instruments interweave so finely that at times it’s hard to even tell that the beat is not the sole result of the bass.

The eight track album is probably best summed up by its closing song. The aptly named “Dreary/Noise/Light” adopts those moods effectively enough that the song takes on schizophrenic qualities. The track, just shy of 14 minutes long, could easily have been presented as three separate tunes, but the transitions play well between movements. This song really highlights the band’s use of reverb and feedback to simulate additional instruments and to create an ethereal vibe in the “Noise” movement. At the same time, every song touches listeners differently. Most songs excite, but especially on the three-and-a-half minute long piano driven “Interlude”, portions of the album can grow stale. Ultimately, however, Kvalitetsstoy is nothing short of satisfying.
Release date: September 2005
Label: Independent
Rating: 7.4 / 10

On the web:


All of our old releases can be downloaded from our website (

LP - kvalitetsstøy [2005]
01. Espionage
02. New Skol
03. Delay Madness
04. Interlude
05. Tremellow
06. Electric Infection
07. The Dirty Girl Scout
08. Dreary/Noise/Light

Singles: New Skol, Tremellow, and Dirty Girl Scout


Feeling a bit camera shy


With a strong distatste for the walls and barriers created by musical genre profiling, viewed as barriers imposed to limit creativity, Charlie Don’t Surf takes a stand. Armed with a barrage of guitars, synthesizers, and a taste for the bizarre they are uniting an army of shoe-gazers. Their musical style is a mixture of post-rock and progressive that can range from soft and ambient to hard and intense. Frank Reber (bassist) has described their music as “soundtracks for apocalypses.” The music is filled with doomsday vibes that lay the foundation for upbeat climaxes. An emotional roller coaster of sound.

Live performances are the showcase of Charlie Don’t Surf. Every show is unique and different in its own way. At times the band plays a minimal setup (just equipment). Other times, they display a varying combination of bubble machines, confetti cannons, fog machines, video projectors, strobe lights, and stage dancers. Show-goers never know what to expect and that’s what keeps everyone coming back.

Charlie Don't Surf is currently working on a new album they plan on releasing in the fall of 2006. The working title is "This is NOT surfing music." It will be their sophomore release following "Kvalitetsstoey" (2005).