Sublime drummer bass kicks way back to LBC

Bud Gaugh, the original Sublime drummer, sat behind his set at the back of DiPiazza’s stage with fake redneck teeth in mouth, playing the toms in his new surf punk rock group.

Gaugh’s four-member band, Del Mar, rocked the large audience at Dipiazza’s near Cal State Long Beach on June 16.

Gaugh started the Reno, Nev. band with Matt Bode on the lead guitar and vocals, Mike Martinez on bass, and Nicole Hutcheson, wife of Gaugh, on rhythm guitar and vocals.

Del Mar’s music, as well as the spectacle at DiPiazza’s where young punks and old surfers were arm-to-arm by the end of the show, joins two generations of surf punk rock. Songs such as “Return to Scorpion Bay” and “I Got a Woody” had no lyrics, but featured a high-octane guitar, a simple bass line and many of those classic surf rock background sounds, such as saxophones, chimes and repetitive slow riffs. The performance had listeners dreaming of bathing in the summer sun.

The best live song was “Broken Surfboards on the Beach,” in which Gaugh’s experience on the drums is truly apparent through his sensual and well-timed use of the toms. The audience, with eyes closed, swayed back and forth to the music. One could almost hear the seagulls in the air.

Ringing in to the younger surf rock generation with songs like “Devil’s Little Play Thing” and “Pot Bandits,” Bode’s voice turns from smooth surf rock to back throat gutturals and one-note chorus lines indicating the need for a moshpit. The younger crowd would love the lyrics of the more punk-oriented tracks, such as in songs such as “Pot Bandits,” where Bode sings, “Load a bowl and smoke it.” He also sings about love for hours of bars, bras and booze” in the song “Reno.”

By the end of the new album, “After the Quake,” some of the slower songs started to sound similar. For instance, the song “New Realization” sounded like part two of “Broken Surfboards on the Beach.”

The slower surf rock songs with no vocals were my favorites. Those who enjoy the punk scene would appreciate the other half of the new album more than I did, but people who like surf instrumentals will want to hear what Del Mar has to offer as well.
“After the Quake” is Del Mar’s first full-length album, which was recorded in Garden Grove, Calif. The album is available from the indie record label Half of Nothing Records.

Del Mar and Half of Nothing Records also started Punk Rock Against Meth Tour in June and have more upcoming shows that are “designed to raise awareness about the scourge of meth addiction and will invade cities hit particularly hard by the meth epidemic,” according to the PRAM Web site at pram2009.com.

The tour’s main priority is to “be educating the public about meth addiction and useful recovery resources through licensed drug counselors and centers that deal with addiction issues.”

PRAM is only stage 1, the fundraising stage, of what Del Mar and Half of Nothing Records hope to see as a 12-bed rehab located in a yet-to-be-disclosed city, according to Del Mar’s Web site at delmarreno.com

The Web site says, “The rehab would not only help those who seek to live a healthy life get clean, but would also be focused around music and the legacy and tragedy of Sublime.”

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