Local band brings Austinites together with new album full of good vibes


Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views

Local band, The Avocados dropped new album “¡Ensalada!” Nov. 13. They performed at the Far Out Lounge (above) to celebrate.

The feeling of relaxing on a summer’s day on a beach off the coast was brought effortlessly as surf music mingled together live on stage. Sun peeked through the trees above the audience and casted shadows alongside the colorful art displayed around the stage, matching the ambiance perfectly. Good vibrations raised as people gathered to dance. 

The Avocados, an Austin-based surf rock band, celebrated the release of their sophomore album “¡Ensalada!”  on Nov. 13 at the Far Out Lounge off South Congress to a crowd full of local music lovers. 

A set list of roughly 90 minutes consisted of all new songs off the 11-track album, which features little vocals and loads of instrumentals. Concert goers were able to enjoy the feel-good music under the shade of trees on a sunny day and connect with the band. Lead guitarist Greg Rhoades touched on the energy from the crowd that was felt during their performance and said it “fueled them to give it their all.” 

Fans and guests at the event were able to pick up copies of both of their albums on vinyl at the merch booth. The band sold about 30 vinyls in person. A copy of the record can also be found on their labels website for $15. 

“It’s a big investment,” bass player Ben Prentice said. He was happy with the amount sold at the release show, and said it was more than he anticipated. 

“Having something tangible to show, especially nowadays when so much stuff just goes straight to streaming services, is important,” Prentice said. “Selling that much feels accomplishing.” 

The Avocados have been playing together with two original members, Rhoades and Prentice, for 13 years. In 2017, drum player Alex Marrero and organ player John Branch joined alongside after the other two original members, Travis Cooper and Johnny Gasyna, parted ways from the band. 

“This album features new musicians that are longtime friends and musical comrades of mine that I’ve been playing with for probably over a decade,” Rhoades said. “I was really excited about that. It was really exciting having their input musically on this record. Being able to collaborate with other people’s opinions and voices and writing skills is amazing.” 

The second record was produced under Found Object Records at local recording studio “Bud’s” with engineer Sam Patlove. The entire album was recorded in three days live in the studio just before the pandemic. Prentice said the pandemic “definitely delayed the release process” for the album, and the band wasn’t able to start promotion until recently. 

A lot of inspiration and influences came from artists like Takeshi Terauchi, a Japanese surf rock guitarist, and Dick Dale, an American rock guitarist.

“We actually started off learning songs from those artists and then that kind of inspired me to write originals,” Rhoades said. “The whole sound was based around a lot of the old 60s instrumental surf rock.”

Rhoades said the differences between this record and their first one is seen within the writing and production process. 

“The songs we recorded [on the first album] we had already kind of been playing live, so they were really already etched in stone,” Rhoades said. “With this record, songs were a little more like rough drafts and sketches. It came together in the studio.” 

The band plans to  continue to create music together and hopes to reach more ears with the release of the new album. An ultimate goal, according to Rhoades, is to “just keep playing as long as possible.”

“I feel like there’s definitely a market out there for instrumental surf rock,” Rhoades said. “It’s very accessible music and it’s very easy for any demographic to enjoy. I would love to take this band overseas and play like Spain, or something, or even just some regional gigs. But essentially, we just want to keep growing our music and expanding awareness of the band.”

The Avocados will continue to play their monthly shows at Lou’s Austin from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Sunday and start weekly shows next summer.

You can stream “¡Ensalada!” on Spotify and buy the record on iTunes or on vinyl via foundobjectrecords.com. Follow the band on their socials listed online at theavocadoesmusic.com.