Acapulco Lips. The name twists the tongue a bit—wait, is it Apocolypse? The band did indeed emerge from a damp Seattle basement, but that’s about the darkest visual of their origin story. Rather than a kiss with mortal doom and destruction, Acapulco Lips sound much more like a make-out session on a hot, salty beach, where summer is eternal and there’s no notion of the fun stopping any time soon. If they happened to be anywhere close to the apocalypse itself, they would definitely celebrate by picking up their gear and rocking the last living daylights out of the final party in the history of civilization.
This trio is bound together by a studied adoration towards the loud, reckless, rebellious sonic traditions of psych, garage, soul, and surf rock. What comes out of these obsessions is the interpretation of the band’s favorite Sixties sounds, from transporting guitar jangles, assertively revved up percussion, boogie-friendly bass breakdowns, topped with disarmingly charming coos and aahs.
Maria-Elena Juarez, originally from Austin, supplies the vox on top and the bass below, galvanizing their live performances with radiant, bubbling style and energy on stage. Christopher Garland, from Seattle, delivers waves of surf solos distorted through a thick layer of fuzz. Davy Berruyer, hailing from Grenoble, France, brings his drumming to the front of your ears and the tips of your tapping toes, his approach steeped in classic rock ‘n’ roll stylings. Together, their buoyantly spirited live performances have made them stalwarts in the Seattle scene, billed on almost any show in town that’s being buzzed as the best party of the week.
This is good times music that will get you out of your blahs, though what’s often addressed in these songs are precise moments of romantic disintegration, disappointment, and dread. Whatever—it’s rock ‘n’ roll! Acapulco Lips seem to know that the best way to dress a heart’s wound is to get up, move your feet, and pretend you’re stomping on the hearts of your formerly beloved. No matter what loser shut the door in your face that day, you can dance it all away tonight.