Personnel: Melissa Brooks (vocals, guitar, percussion); Ryan Frailich (vocals, guitar); Josh Crawford (bass guitar); Colin Moore (drums).
Audio Mixer: Joe Cardamone.
Recording information: Valley Recording Company, Burbank, CA (05/2013).
Photographer: David Mushegain.
Do hip kids go to the beach? Well, the Aquadolls sure do, and this band has just the sort of echoey cheap guitar tone that your favorite vinyl-buying garage-centric hipster goes for in the 21st century. But the Aquadolls also like to sing (with only faint sarcasm) about surfing, skating, romance, and getting high (sure, Frankie and Annette didn't endorse recreational drug use, but Beach Blanket Bingo was about a half a century ago), and for all their lo-fi racket, they sure sound like they not only dig vintage surf music, but they're true Californians who love spending a day by the ocean. Or at the very least that's the impression one gets from their first full-length album, Stoked on You. Lead singer Melissa Brooks sounds like a cool and studiedly laid-back kind of hipster gal, but she knows how to work up an enthusiasm for the important things in life, like boys in skinny jeans and fresh fruit, while her bandmates -- Ryan Frailich on guitar, Josh Crawford on bass, and Colin Moore on drums -- make a suitable and quite enjoyable racket behind her than ranges from the playful ("Long Hair Don't Care") to the moody and atmospheric ("Woah Man"). While the Aquadolls sound like they're playing this as a good joke much of the time, Brooks seems just thoughtful enough to mean something when she really wants to, and while Stoked on You is sometimes hampered by its low-budget production and low-tech guitar tones, most of these songs work and work well, and if you're looking to grab an espresso and head to the beach, the Aquadolls are just the cool kids you can hang ten with. ~ Mark Deming