The Hamiltones – The Shape Of Walter 7” (Swimming Faith Records)

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The Hamiltones are instrumental surf rock trio based in Buffalo, NY and their debut 7” The Shape Of Walter is such a great homage to the classic horror movies and surf rock scene. The band is comprised of John Toohill (Science Man, Alpha Hopper, Radiation Risks, Night Slaves) on guitar, Richard Reynolds on bass and organ, and Chris Scamurra (Kharlos, Space Wolves) on drums who are, besides being skillful musicians, obviously an Bmovie experts. Judging by the tracks, The Hamiltones are especially interested in monsters, so they’ve managed to a couple of tracks covering those themes. Tunes such as Flowers For Wolfman (In Human Form), Dracula Goes To The Gas Station…Alone…Again, and Lady Ghoul’s Cave Of Mystery (Unfound) obviously have an intention to deliver a lot of good humor through some good tones of greatly performed surf rock music. The music is spooky, creepy, weird at some times, but melodic with a dominance of clean guitar tones covered with some reverb. It brings back the spirit of the 50s and 60s when this particular genre was quite popular and you’ll instantly feel some cravings for old school horror movies. Also, an organ is giving some warm tones to the brilliant music and everything is supported with a simple, but yet effective bass lines which are hearable throughout the entire material. The drummer is giving his best to convey that characteristic drumming of that era and it’s especially notable on the Without You, a cover song by the Badfinger which has been a soundtrack for the Son Of The Dracula, musical comedy starring Harry Nilson and Ringo Starr. The only bad thing about The Shape Of Walter is its duration. This could easily be an amazing LP record if the band just recorded some more tunes, but hopefully, they’ll manage to enter in the studio once again and treat us with some more fine surf rock tracks. Nevertheless, The Shape Of Walter is well presented with perfect doses of humor, great ideas, even better arrangements, and overall this is one of the best newer surf rock records I’ve had a chance to enjoy in. The humor of The Hamiltones is possibly best presented in a graphic form, so The Shape Of Walter comes with an obese version of a Gill-Man, a well-known monster from a classic horror movie Creature From The Black Lagoon watching some television while eating some TV dinner and smoking pot. The monster is covered with the leftovers and it clearly depicts a standard routine of the American working class in the 50s and 60s, minus the pot. The Shape Of Walter has been pressed on a beautiful blue vinyl in 300 copies and it’s available at the bands bandcamp page, but you may also contact Swimming Faith Records to preserve your copy.