Renn Loren & the Honky Tonk Surf Riders / Press

“HAWAII is the vehicle of Renn Loren, a former isle resident, who recorded this here but is apparently based in Norway with Hawaii/Wave Norway producers Yngve Leidulv Setre and Hans Petter Gundersen. Add a team of Hawaii players including Noel Okimoto, Lyle Ritz, Steve Jones, Kit Ebersbach, Butch Helemano, and Cyril Pahinui, and the eclectic results will appeal to the adventuresome. Loren opens with an inspired update of "Hawaii '78" then moves into equally inspired originals. Some draw on the "exotica" of Martin Denny. Others are reminiscent of the tropical-rock sound of Jimmy Buffet or offer a cross-cultural mix of pop or rock melodies accented by "third world" percussion instruments. Little of this is "Hawaiian" in the strictest sense of the word, but neither is Jawaiian. Loren deserves to be heard here. John Berger ”

John Berger - Honolulu Star Bulletin

“That such an album was recorded in the rain drenched west coast of Norway speaks volumes about the quality both Renn Loa and these chosen musicians possess and wield. It swings more like a barn dance if Los Lobos and The Blasters had arranged it with Doug Sahm in Texas - then moved the whole thing to a tropical beach! Fittingly Renn’s songs have been featured in both Norwegian films (the historically successful Hawaii, Oslo) and internationally successful films such as the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. So you won’t look so surprised when you hear this album and end up shouting how damn good it sounds! Recorded in Duper Studio in Bergen this is music to make you smile, feel alive, and as with The Mavericks it’s not the size of your country roots that determines whether you’re allowed to get in on it. I was just recently at Oslo Spektrum and saw Toby Keith for free as a journalist. I would have been happy to pay to see The Topangas! ”

Johnny Andreassen - Blues News

“Cosmic American Music! It's the little details which make the Topangas stand out from the crowd. The band have found their sweet spot between commercially appealing country and unpolished, alternative country-rock. A few songs are highly danceable, and some songs are close to pop/rock and 70's softrock. Moreover, the band's driving force Renn Loren occasionally derives Island Style influences from his native Hawaii and dirty bluegrass, and mashes it up in a delicately dry, warm, and complex soundscape. "Songs From..." is a particularly varied album. Even though the album never loses its consistency, Loren & co are able to give each song its own soul and distinct characteristics. The band challenge themselves to cultivate the eccentricities in each melody line, which provides for good dynamics and timelessness. Renn Loren & the Topangas are cultivating the heritage of their inspirational sources with awe, honor and soul. A clever and rock-solid album. ”