9

Not your average surfer

There's a new genre in town, back in the day Dick Dale and his Deltones set the precedent for surf rock, that lovely sound of rapid speed guitar strum, the awesome 'Wipeout' and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack 'Misirlou', then there were The Beach Boys singing of the happy sunshine and 'California Girls'. Now that energy of old had given way to emotional surf recitals, bringing in Surfer Rock. Jack Johnson comes in here, melding folk and reggae and the sound of the beach, he creates tunes fit for fit, bleached blond lads to connect with when the tide the is high.

John Butler and his trio may be the biggest Surfer Rock sensation over in Australia, but Jack Johnson far surpasses their sound with the recognisable ease that he conjures his music with, his craftsmanship comes naturally, so it sounds, unlike the strained rambling rubbish of pseudo whiners the John Butler Trio. And this man lives surf, learning the tricks of the trade as he learnt to walk and then going onto making films of the sport and now pioneering a successful career as king of the new wave musical surf movement. Gnarly.

His sound is totally bodacious if it's what you're into and I get the feeling we'll be hearing a lot more from this breaking genre, Jack Johnson is riding the crest of this new wave. The album follows, in a way, the format of the aforementioned John Butler Trio's attempt 'Sunrise Over Sea', with the best song arriving half-way through and being less that two minutes, yes 'Situations' is where's it's at on this record, a pretty little ditty indeedy.

The rest of it is acoustic, sandy songs of ebbing emotion and cascading, fairytale smoothness. 'If I Could' is a particularly strong number followed by another highlight, 'Breakdown'. Belle is also a lovely, lovely song, French lyrics and an accordion; it's short and sweet. In all, 'In Between Dreams' isn't bad at all, its formulaic but a fresh sound in a soon-to-be saturated market no doubt. It heralds a new era of music, beach-fire acoustic guitar dreamy sunset stuff, so will it take of here in dreary England? Well, maybe, we all like to escape through music, this might give all the kids used to wet tarmac here a taste of salty seawater in their mouths and a yearning for the board.

Well dudes and dudettes, surf's up! This is the new Cultural Revolution it seems, skateboards are so passť, radical, so for those of us not blessed with balance, well I guess we'll just have to succumb to the laws of Social Darwinism. Don't look so board!