At a gas station, while in the middle of filling up their van to proceed to their next venue, bassist and backup vocalist Ford Archbold sports a cool-looking jacket across the way. Getting back in the van. Next stop — Santa Cruz, California.
The Costa Mesa-based trio Tomorrows Tulips released their fourth album, “iNdy Rock Royalty Comb” on Jan. 22. Beginning in early February, the Tulips have been touring their home state of California to debut their new album by performing record release shows.
From the first listen, their new album sounds like driving an old Convertible under water.
The Tulips consist of Alex Knost (lead vocals, guitar), Ford Archbold (backing vocals and bass) and new drummer Jen Agnew. Both Knost and Archbold compete as professional surfers as well.
“The title was inspired by indie rock … and a comb,” Archbold said.
This mini album contains several covers including “Quiet Riot Grrrl” by their ’90s alt rock heroes Further and “Why I Didn’t Like August ’93” by another low-key ’90s band, Elevator To Hell.
Another song off the eight-song release, “Check Me Out,” is a hardcore anthem about a man “crashing on the floor” as he “can’t do much more.” He “just stays here and drinks beer” to the point where he tells whoever is listening to “check me out the door.”
The fourth track, “Convertible PCH,” uses a catchy guitar riff throughout the song and leaves listeners with the sound of a ringing amplifier switching between both ears with a set of earplugs. Following is a more mellow song called “Walk Away.” Coming down another notch is the song right after, called “At The Movies.”
Some of the new album was recorded at K Records with Calvin Johnson of The Happening, who earned his own song on the record called “Calvin’s Mic Check.” Archbold said the recording process for this album involved many venues.
“We just jumped around from studio to studio. It was just a lot of winging it,” Archbold said. “We had half the songs and then made up the other half on the spot.”
Unlike their last album, “When,” their newest release is more guitar-fuzz heavy rather than deep bass lines.
Compared to bands like The Velvet Underground, the Tulips possess a unique sound. They have thrived on a “do-it-yourself” attitude that one their fellow Costa Mesa counterparts and friends The Growlers share as well. Mellow, lo-fi and California-infused, this album is a great one to blast loud while driving.
Next up for the three-piece is a tour of Europe from May to June. Oh yeah, and they are releasing a more full-length album later this year if everything goes as planned.
“We are looking forward to just a good old time with buddies,” Archbold said. “We have Tommy Midnight, our guitar tech coming with us. We are going to see a bunch of places and try to stay sober. We’re like U2 there. We can’t even get out of the car, people bombard us.”