From Cool And Strange Music! Magazine, Issue #17 May-Aug 2000
Review written by Tom Warner

Having mastered exotica on their Idol Pleasures full player (Mai Tai), the Tiki Tones have grated extra cheddar into this year's 6-song platter, The Leisure Experiment. As a result, the Tones' excellent production values and pop music sensibilities are now augmented by a topping of even more grin-inducing cheesy elements, from moog-induced blips, beeps and boings (courtesy of Cisco Orinoco) and sampled sitars and fuzz guitars to soundbites lifted from Radley Metzger's '60s sex films and the engaging la-la-la-ing of vocalists Kitty 21, Julie Jackson and Karen Maness (showcased on "Topless Holiday)
"Il Vespa" and Juicy kick things off with a decidedly Continental swing, sounding like the organ-heavy '70s-era Italian soundtrack music heard on Crippled Dick Record's Beat at Cineciita series. "Il Vespa" features the call-and-response of a sultry sexpot cooing "I want you to want me!", while an uber-suave stud replies, "You know that I do!" the soundbites continue on "Juicy" where some jacked-up beatnik cries "Brilliant, man, brilliant!" while flute solos soar over coffeehouse bongos and Farfisi Organ. Meanwhile, "Blood & Sand" heads South of the Border, where it seams Herb Alpert is trying to teach "Lonely Bull" to the Shakey's Dixieland Band.
The cover of "Music To Watch Girls By" could easily be mistaken for Combustible Edison, as the leisure makeover finds the original's blaring horns toned-down in favor of a sexy bossa nova rhythm that mixes cheesy sitars with Nash Agnew's sinister spy guitar. But the best cut is "Green Bananas," in which Atlas Rockmont's insistent drumbeat and Agnew's nasty fuzz guitar drive the song headlong into a cacophony of crazy operatic yodeling, birdcalls, cracking whips and sexy whispers. Clearly, this is an experiment worth repeating!

From Cool Culture Magazine Issue #1 Winter 2001
Written by Lee Sobel
4 out of 5 Stars for the Leisure Experiment EP

Add Beck's vocals and you might have his next album. The Tiki Tones deliver an eclectic tapestry of sounds that can best be classified as lounge, but encompasses space age sonic experimentation, 70's wah-wah, jazz and instro rock rolled into one terrific 6-song EP. If you like Dimitri From Paris and Pizzicato 5 (and if you don't get your head checked) then you will embrace and love this new disc by the Tiki tones. Depending on if you're in a dancing mood or just a listening one, this disc is great. There's plenty of techno futurism going on but also a bit of a look back at the sonic sixties. "Green Bananas" is a wonderful fuzz-tone go-go number, while their cover of "Music To Watch Girls By" contains psychedelic sitar. It's old it's new! I hope the Tiki Tones came and play the east coast real soon!

From SF Weekly, House Of Tudor, Vol. 19 #19, June 14-20, 2000
With The Leisure Experiment, the Tiki Tones have launched their seaside guitars into a futuristic Jetsons stratosphere filled with glowing vacuum tubes and transistors. Their new world is filled with soft, shiny surfaces and super-short skirts; the music bubbles and bounces across self-cleaning white floors with sparkling Moogs and loops of weightless girly la-las. It's as appealing as an aquamarine swizzle stick, as alluring as false eyelashes and go-go boots, as delightful as a pleasure cruise around Mars, and as comfortable a pre-warmed lounge chairs. Unlike so much modern electronica, this 60's inspired dance music carries the heat and affection of an analog fantasy, and if you're a little behind the times, like me, you'll want to stay for a very very long time.

From Jamboree Magazine Italy
Anno V - numero 25
Octobre/Novembre 2000
Review Written by Ernesto Meazza

Partiti con esordi surf a base di rum e tikis, i Tiki Tones (la band in cui ha militato Josh Agle-aka Shag- mito della scena iconografica low brow, all chitarra con lo pseudonimo di Shag Lono, prima che gli altri suoi impegni nell'arte figurativa prendessero il sopravvento) sono andati man mano incorporando nel loro suono elementi sempre piu easy e con questo "The leisure experiment" la trasformazione e pienamente compiuta. Gia la immagini e la grafica della confezione piu che a hula nei patio dell'America suburbana rimandano a scenari modernisti e easy-lounge e tra le tracce del cd vi sono dialoghi dai film di Radley Metzger, elegante e sofisticato autore erotico dei 6ts, mentre tra gli strumenti fanno capolino moog, loops, percussioni latine e flauto e si shakerano cosi pezzi ultra cool come Il Vespa (il titolo e tutto un programma!), Topless Holiday (oh, si...), Juicy e una cover dell'immortale Music to watch girl by (uno dei miei passatempi preferiti, magari sorseggiando una Diet Pepsi...il brano in questione e stato originariamente composto per uno short pubblicitario di questa bevanda...procuratevi Mondo Exotica di Francesco Adinolfi, se non lo avete gia fatto!). Senza tema di smentite la miglior prova a tutt'oggi dei Tiki Tones. Are you ready for a life of leasure?

From The Continental Issue #8
4 out of 5 stars for the Leisure Experiment EP

If you are a fan of the Tiki Tones you are in for a big surprise. The latest release sounds nothing like their previous releases. They used to play guitar and organ style surf rock with tiki chants - now they play 60's/early 70's style lounge rock with vintage synths and wah-wah guitars. Instead of turning up the reverb tanks they've turned up the funk. This 6 track CD-EP has five originals and an excellent version of "Music To Watch Girls By". The cover art as always was done by the Tiki Tones guitarist Shag (here he goes by the name NaSH AGnew).

On the Tiki Tones Live
From OC Weekly Feb. 2 - Feb. 8, 2001
By Rebecca Schoenkopf a.k.a. Commie Girl

Saturday night's Chinese New Year at the ever-hipper Din Din at the Bamboo Terrace in Costa Mesa found the Tiki Tones laying it on thick for those lucky enough to be at the show. . . .
It is shocking and appalling that this band doesn't have a coterie of young, hip, Hollywood stars following them around to bask in their reflected grandeur.

 

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