Local Record Review: 'Egyptian Summer' by Matt Hurray

Categories: Beat Blvd.
Egyptian Summer.jpg

Matt Hurray
Egyptian Summer

So it might not officially be summer yet but c'mon, you've seen the weather this week.  (Okay, so maybe there's rain on the way too--bear with us.) Anyway, the thing about surf music and OC is that 1) it's been happening here for decades, after all 2) there's always going to be more of it.  The fact that Egyptian Summer has the kind of cover art we almost just expect with any celebration of an established style--slightly distressed feel like a well-loved vinyl sleeve and all--is almost the kind of thing that makes a listener go "Well, yeah, but surely we've heard this."

But the thing of it is that Egyptian Summer, the debut solo CD from Just Plain Big veteran and Balboa Island resident Matt Hurray, hits just enough of a perfect little sweet spot that while it's not the second coming of Dick Dale, it's not meant to be either.  Nearly all instrumentals in the classic way, aside from some brief wordless singalong moments on "Doheny Daze," it's Hurray and some friends playing around with the kind of quick, active and stinging performances that sum up the style, kicking off with the trebly hit of "C&H Girls" and heading all the way through with song titles like "No Parking" and "School is Out" summing up the feeling at play.

That said, a few moments like "Sunset Gammon" and "Aloha," the agreeable album closer, take an easier pace, not quite yacht rock but not too far removed from the feeling of just enjoying the sunset and scrounging up a gin and tonic.  It's the kind of music that feels good when there's not a care in the world, and as anyone can tell you, there's always plenty to care about and feel even angrier than normal as a result.  So Egyptian Summer is the soundtrack of a daydream but there's a reason why so many of us live here and have those daydreams, and Hurray's having a blast with it.

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The songs glide effortlessly through your speakers, and pump a blissful vibe through your soul.  Matt Hurray seems to pledge himself to a near puritanical vision of rock and roll - a vision built from the fusion of mid 60's surf energy and the honed resignation of that comes from a sizzling desire that is just out-of-reach. Inevitably, though, the subtleties and precise intentions sometimes get bent out of shape by the practicalities of living in a relentlessly modern society. It's only by seeing Matt in a live setting and hearing the resounding clout of the above mentioned desire that you realize what spectacularly rare thing this is.


the album cover says "egyptian surfer" not summer. 

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