Exclusive Single Premiere: Trabants “Surfers On Acid” (2024)


Trabants are an instrumental surf-garage-psych project hailing from Portland, Oregan. Without vocals to draw attention, the instrumentation on their music is exquisite and mesmerising. We’re thrilled today to be premiering “Surfer On Acid”, a fuzzy guitar-driven rolling ball of psychedelia ahead of its release on Thursday, 30th May.

The band is hosted by composer and guitarist Eric Penna, and has a rotating line-up of like-minded musicians over the years. It was named after the ubiquitous car that was produced in East Germany from the late 50s until 1991.

Trabants are known for their use of vintage recording equipment and techniques. “Surfer On Acid” is a a memerising pastiche of classic surf and psych rock that will leave you wanting much much more. The guitars are hypnotic and intoxicating, weaving and punching, with percussion that drives it along and adds colour. Listening to this, I had flash backs of watching “Hawaii Five-0” as a kid. It would have been a perfect sound track. Lovers of Australian surf-rock instrumental outfit The Break would find much to love here.

About the track, Eric Penna told the AU:  “It’s an aural ride through discolored, tumultuous, exotic waves of a foreign terrain with Dick Dale on drugs as your guide. Being a true chaser of authentic sounds, I spent years trying to find a unique and rare specimen in the pantheon of guitar effects to bring this song to life the way I heard it in my mind. My acquisition of an original Tychobrahe Octavia played through a classic and pristine blonde Fender Showman (borrowed from none other than the band Satan’s Pilgrims, who are one of the few purveyors of modern instrumental psychedelia) brought the sound out of my mind and into the material world.
This all may sound like gear nerd stuff, BUT in a world where everything is a facsimile of something in the past, it pays to access the real thing. ‘Surfers On Acid’ is an idea brought to fruition through vintage sound and vintage tactics, fusing surf music and psychedelia into one symbiotic piece of music most viscerally experienced through the body. So, lay back, close your eyes, and ride the purple waves.”

“Surfers on Acic” was written, recorded and mixed by Eric Penna at Hemstreet Sound in Portland. It was mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East. It will be released as part of a two-track 7-inch, 45-rpm vinyl containing the songs “Mantra”, as well as “Surfers On Acid”.

Portland natives can catch Trabants on the 6th July at Turn Turn Turn for their Trabants‘ 7-Inch vinyl album release show. They will also be playing in Los Angeles at Huntington Beach Pier on the 13th of October.

You can pre-save “Surfers On Acid”, and it’s stable-mate A-side, “Mantra” HERE. You can also pre-order their vinyl HERE.


You can give Trabants a follow on their Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker