The Sticks' dubby surf instrumental

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In the summer garage deluge, reverb-drowned vocals were as constant as the overdriven guitar. So it's nice to hear a British band taking up that most classic of surf rock mantles, the instrumental. On tracks like “Pongs”, the Brighton duo specialize in a sparse playfulness that recalls dub music as much as it does the Ventures.

They also effortlessly whip up sub-two minute vocal-driven burners, like “Messing Around”.

Their live set is said to kill, which explains how they were chosen as Mark E. Smith's house band back in February of last year.

Their self-titled release dropped with twenty songs in late 2009 on the UK label Upset the Rhythm. With the exception of the last track (4:17), there are only five others over the two-minute mark.

The Sticks, “Pongs”

The Sticks, “Messing Around”