New Orlando music drops: surf-punk from Dunies, classic horrorcore rap from Criminalistic Records, Alien Witch goes unplugged

Alien Witch
Alien Witch Photo by Matthew Moyer

It's been a busy week for local sounds that conjure up moodier sounds and atmospheres. Let's dive right in.

While accurate, calling the music of exceptional Cocoa Beach band Dunies "surf-punk" may be a bit too reductive. Indeed, they are, more than anything, a surf-punk band. But their recordings have occasionally shown other faces, and their latest release is a good exhibit of that depth. Tunes From the Dunes, Vol​.​ 1 is a four-song trek into pulpy atmospherics that plays like a Robert Rodriguez soundtrack. It can be downloaded on Bandcamp and is streaming everywhere.

Speaking of pulp, new Orlando hard-rap label Criminalistic Records is emerging from the underground with lurid horrorcore looks. Their aesthetic is explicit and pretty much nutshelled in the latest release by label boss ISVVC. Raw in sound and intent, North Mass Maniac is eight purposefully lo-fi tracks that walk on the dark side with a depraved and druggy shuffle. It's gangsta, it's death rap, and it's all a modernization of the grisly extremities of 1990s hip-hop. And yep, best believe I went and dug up my old Gravediggaz CD after this.

North Mass Maniac is streaming on Spotify, Soundcloud and the like, but is also available on limited-edition cassette on Bandcamp.

Oh look, it's Alien Witch here again. Though the impossible clip that the Orlando no-wave act had set for themselves of an album a month this year has fallen a bit off pace, the quality and variety has surprisingly not. Four-leaf Clover is their fifth full-length release of 2021, and it's the longest one yet. The 18-song collection is a compilation of new and old songs that takes things back to the guitar side of things.

Forlorn but often lovely, the dark, narcotic psych rock on Four-leaf Clover contains five new songs, six older songs and seven beautiful cover songs by the likes of Mazzy Star, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Johnny Thunders, Warren Zevon, Chris Isaak and Tom Waits that could've made an outstanding mini album of their own. And all of it's generously available on Bandcamp as a donation-based download.

About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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