“Won’t you come to the beach with me?” sings Darren Rademaker on ‘Aloha Breeze’. It’s an invitation well worth taking up since this is the best Tyde record to date (and I’d have said previously that it was impossible to improve on ‘Once’). While a surfer featured on the cover of the second album ‘Twice’, Darren’s passion for surfing has never featured as much in the Tyde’s songs as it does on ‘Three’s Co’, from the cover photos to references to pelicans and dolphins, the admission that his home is the sea and the obvious Beach Boys allusion (but not sound) in the title of opening track ‘Do It Again Again’.
The influences are still there – the Byrds, Dylan, Felt and Orange Juice – but less obviously now and perhaps we’re hearing the essence of Darren. It retains the jangly indie guitars and the sundazed Californian cool of before and also a fearsome bite: ‘Brock Landers’ is his way of dismissing the critics, cynics and “the pastiche police” in a gloriously fuzzed out rock’n’roll way: “jealousy will get you nowhere”. Instead, as he sings, on ‘Ltd Appeal’, “I don’t care where I get my sound from”. That song has all the attitudinal genius of Dylan in the lyrics and an infectious chugging rhythm that twists guitar and keyboards together conspiratorially before they split in a neat stabbing guitar solo and a warm wash of harmonies. He gets playful on ‘County Line’ with its throwaway glam rock riffs (it has the same Slade bootboy charm as Go Kart Mozart often manage), produces a 50s croon on the Grease–on-the-beach ‘Aloha Breeze’ and goes off-road into atmospheric alt.country territory for ‘Don’t Need A Leash’. Best of all is the wonderful ‘Separate Cars’, slow-breaking like waves on a beach, reflective and relentlessly melodic, with the most incredible mellotron sounds from Ann Do Rademaker.
On ‘The Lamest Shows’, Darren puts down bands who put on empty shows to screaming teens while wondering “am I getting too old?” Not if ‘Three’s Co’ is any indication - this welcome return proves that Darren and crew are still riding that big wave.