The Hawaiians / Lesser Creatures - Less Talk More Surf (Cover Artwork)

The Hawaiians / Lesser Creatures

Less Talk More Surf (2023)

last exit music`

This release was a major surprise to the pop punk community. Current German darlings The Hawaiians teaming up with the up and coming American band Lesser Creatures on the “Less Talk More Surf” split LP. I have had the pleasure of reviewing each band’s previous full length efforts so the release of this album had more than peaked my interest. If the classic Lookout! Records pop punk sound of the 90s is your cup of tea then you will want to pay attention.

The Hawaiian’s released the stellar “Pop Punk VIP” last year. That album was my first exposure to the band and I was more than pleased. Their brand of poppy surf punk is well represented on this release. “Hula Headbangin’” kicks off their side of the split. The track starts with a signature surf guitar riff that leads into sugary sweet vocals. The guitar strumming is very loose and fluid. This track would have fit well on any mid-era Queers album. The band picks up the pace on “The Trace Leads Outer Space” in true Ramonescore fashion. This track boasts both a catchy chorus and quick chord changes. The Hawaiians use a basic and simple formula on “I Met Her At The Sematary.” This fun and upper tempo track features a straight forward chord progression. The lead vocal carries this track. The band takes on the Queers classic “Teenage Bonehead” next. This version is very close to the original and features Joe Queer on backing vocals. The Hawaiians tackle the 80s hardcore sound on “I Got Abducted By A Pizza UFO” which concludes their contributions to the split. I personally like this side of the Hawaiians best, as they channel early Circle Jerks and Angry Samoans quite well.

Lesser Creatures have made waves in the scene in a very short time. In a few short years, the band has released two full lengths and multiple splits and singles. For those who are unaware, vocalist Nick Spoon is the second coming of Joey Vindictive. I truly mean that as a positive given my Chicago roots! “Back To Mappen” starts strong with raw vocals and gang style backing vocals. Classic pop punk guitar solos are present throughout. The Jeffrey Dahmer tale “Brains On Toast” follows. This track starts with a solid and fast guitar chug that helps set the pace. My favorite part of this song is the tempo of the chorus. Lesser Creatures return to the poppier side of the 90s on “Narcissistic Brain” which follows. This song is straight up pop punk comfort food. Nick Spoon showcases more vocal range on this track, which is good to hear. Present is a loose guitar lead in both the bridge and outro. The love song “My World” is next. This is pretty common ground for Lesser Creatures. This track features solid female backing vocals to help segregate from the other tracks. Like the previous track, the bridge becomes the outro of the song. The vocally powerful “Knew It All Along” closes out this side of the split. The vocal line of “The summer’s gone and we knew it all along” will be stuck in your head for days. The solo during the bridge boasts some impressive guitar picking.

This split will be complete ear candy to those faithful to the contemporary pop punk bubble. Pairing bands on a split from different sides of the globe in my opinion is always a good move. Usually, there is one band on the split that captures your attention with the hope of being exposed to another equally solid band. I believe both bands showed all that each have to offer through their contributions to this split.