CAWAMA: SURF-PUNKS MAKE LIFE THEIR BEACH
WE'RE LIVING ON A PLANET OF SHARKS, AND CAWAMA'S MUSIC AIMS TO KEEP YOU FROM FEELING SEA SICK
Written by Johnny Papan
Like the 40oz. Mexican beer they are named after, Cawama aims to splash listeners with a sound that makes you want to both dance and relax. Mixing elements of 50s surf rock with punk-infused garage-rock, the Mexican-Canadian band from Vancouver have made waves in their short time together thus far. To date, Cawama has already played alongside artists such as the well-known Diarrhea Planet, Grimskunk, and the legendary Polyrhythmics.
Their latest record, Sea Sick, is an upbeat offering that can nicely adapt itself as music to play at a wild house party, or a chill evening at the beach sipping on your favourite cerveza. Sonically inspired by bands like the Misfits, the Pixies, the Clash, Mudhoney, the Animals, the Sonics and Dick Dale, their album opens with the socially conscious “Planet of the Sharks,” a track that speaks of much harsher realities than its groovy sound would insinuate.
“This song could be classified as a slap in the face for many people who fit the description,” says guitarist and band co-founder Robb Miron. “It is a question of how far people are willing to go to get a ‘piece of the pie.’ Every single day, from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow, sharks are all around you. Most people probably wake up listening to the 'news,’ stating that everything is going south. Health, economy, education. It makes you ponder: ‘Why did I wake up again?’”
Miron describes the daily routine of people with blood in the water, awaiting to be feasted on by these greed-hungry “sharks.” People who aren’t as well off, forced to clip coupons and scrounge for money just to make it through the day. There people are often the ones receiving parking tickets, or getting calls from the bank. Harassed by “sharks” to get squeezed for every last dime in their measly pockets.
“This process repeats itself five days a week,” he says. “Grinding to ‘make-ends-meet.’ Age starts to become a factor, only to succumb to the fact that it will all be taken by sharks… Banks calling you on a daily basis, about past due notices and bills, landlords threatening to cancel your tenant’s agreement. ‘The Man’ taking advantage of you and taking away a piece of what you own. Once you sit back and see the big picture, you will then understand how this is a planet of the sharks…”
Despite the slimy characters that float about this earth, Cawama isn’t here to harp on that. Although the band took its name from a beer, the beer got its name from what Morin describes as “an amazing, beautiful, big ass sea turtle.” Like said sea turtle, the band moves at a chill pace, and makes life their beach.
Other standout tracks on the record include the upbeat “One Eye Closed,” the anthemically surfy songs “Outta Sight,” and “4th Dimension,” and, our personal favourite, “Perfectomundo.” Overall, Sea Sick is a refreshing record that hits you like a wave on a Summer day.
“I would like people to feel like silly-dancing when they listen to our music,” Miron concludes. “Zero fucks given about who's watching. We want to give people the same feeling when they listen to their favorite band. Air drumming while walking in the streets, or chugging a beer at the bar.”
Cawama w/ The Eleven Twelves, the Fatalz, Lou Danger & the Thrills
at LanaLous - 326 Powell Street, Vancouver