Comprised of Austin,TX-born, Seattle WA-based Maria-Elena Juarez (vocals, bass), Seattle, WA-born and based Christopher Garland (guitar) and Grenoble, France-born, Seattle, WA-based Davy Berruyer (drums), Seattle, WA-based surf rock/indie rock trio Acapulco Lips specialize in a sound that’s heavily indebted to the sounds of the early 60s — in other words, garage rock, psych rock, surf rock and mod rock. With a growing reputation locally and regionally, the Seattle-based trio have added themselves to a growing list of contemporary garage rock/surf rock bands both regionally and national that includes the likes of Seattle’s La Luz and Guantanamo Baywatch, New York’s Raccoon Fighter and High Waisted among others — and perhaps, more important, Acapulco Lips have a reputation for a raucous and rowdy live set that has been described by fans and critics as being the best party of the week.
“Tonight,” the latest single off the band’s recently released self-title full-length has the band pairing fuzzy and jangling guitar chords, propulsive drumming, chiming bells, a throbbing bass line, an infectious hook and a sweet melody in a song that manages to possesses a bittersweet melancholy as the song’s narrator openly talks about finally building up the courage to leave a no-good lover, and as a result the song conveys a sense of conflicted emotions — vulnerability, pride, heartache, confusion, fear and a despair desire to move forward are all expressed, and if you’ve ever been in a bitter and awkward breakup the sentiment is all too familiar. Yet, all is not lost as there’s a sense of hope that says — go out and catch some live music and dance the night away, it’ll get better in time.
The recently released music video for “Tonight” features the members of the band sitting in a bar, glued to their phones, arguing with significant others before ditching their phones to drink too much and party with a bunch of newfound friends. Countless beers, shots and cocktails are consumed including an enormous blue and smoking cocktail. And at some point there’s footage of the band performing for the same rowdy friends. It’s a playful and humorous video that belies the melancholy feel of the song.
An old phone and mysterious blue cocktail and you’ve got yourself the best view in the house for Acapulco Lips’ progression from waiting for a call to abandoning their phones for an impromptu party—we just hope their phones are waterproof. Watch the Seattle trio’s latest video for “Tonight” premiered on CMJ and stream their self-titled EP out now on Killroom Records, over on The Stranger.
This trio is bound together by a studied adoration towards the loud, reckless, rebellious sonic traditions of psych, garage, soul, and surf rock. What comes out of these obsessions is the interpretation of the band’s favorite Sixties sounds, from transporting guitar jangles, assertively revved up percussion, boogie-friendly bass breakdowns, topped with disarmingly charming coos and aahs.
This is good times music that will get you out of your blahs, though what’s often addressed in these songs are precise moments of romantic disintegration, disappointment, and dread. Whatever—it’s rock ‘n’ roll!Acapulco Lips seem to know that the best way to dress a heart’s wound is to get up, move your feet, and pretend you’re stomping on the hearts of your formerly beloved. No matter what loser shut the door in your face that day, you can dance it all away tonight.