Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The AquaSonics - Play Songs For The Surfin' Set!dotdotdot
artworkThis is an excellent set of mono tracks produced with a vintage sound in mind. 14 surf instros that are simply enjoyable and unpretentious. While not as bright or vibrant as many vintage tracks, these do convey the sound and flair of many smaller label issues of the period. In some ways, this a not hi-fi because it's rolled off on the high end, but it's not trashy at all.
Picks: Hot Doggin', Down Shiftin', Lonely Apache, Movin', Surf Softly, Mexico, The Cruel Sea, Our Favorite Martian, Squad Car, Journey To The Stars, The Hearse, The Infantile Surf, Spanish Blue, The Jester

Track by Track Review

Hot Doggin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very good cover of the Astronauts' "Hot Doggin'," complete with lots of reverb. The drums are pretty distant, leaving the reverb to dominate. Great energy and surf charm.

Down Shiftin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a solid tune with a classic vintage styled progression. Great drums and reverb sparkle, with plenty of spunky energy. Big and splashy, and very cool.

Lonely Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets' "Lonely Apache" is nicely done, with infectious rhythm and abundant reverb. While it's not groundbreaking, it is very well received.

Movin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's catchy "Movin'" is very nicely done in a simple and very vintage arrangement that is more or less based on the Astronauts' version. This take captures the spirit of the sixties and portrays riders on the longboards of the day quite well.

Surf Softly dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This take on the Astronauts' "Surf Softly And Carry A Big Big Board" is very much in the vintage vein. It has captured the spirit of the period well, and it's a not too often covered song as well.

Mexico dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite a nice version of Bob Moore and Boudleaux Bryant's hit song. The arrangement is a lot like Dick Dale's nineties arrangement, but with a gentler more vintage sound. The dribbling reverbed double picking is very inviting.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very solid cover of Mike Maxfield's surf instro from his days in England's Dakotas. It's much more surf than the original, with excellent reverb splash and energy.

Our Favorite Martian dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller's most famous surf instro is well adapted to the The AquaSonics' sound, while keeping Fuller's flair for whammy. Really nicely done.

Squad Car dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shy the sax reed siren, "Squad Car" nonetheless rock with a solid Eddie and the Showmen arrangement. Great reverb and pounding drums!

Journey To The Stars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rousing live take of the Ventures' great space surf epic. Big and splashy, charged with vintage attitude, and fully loaded. The performance is very solid, and the audio is not too bad.

The Hearse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's coolest surf instro is always' great to hear. The The AquaSonics dribble the glissandos and rock with great drums. This is a superb surf adventure in a very vintage vein.

The Infantile Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Infantile Surf" has a mysterious and somewhat dangerous sound to it. The melody flows really well, and the long sustained chords with reverb and whammy add real drama. This is a big and very surf worthy track that will bring you back. The imagery is like the rain on your windshield from very dark clouds as you drive south on a coastal highway. Something reminiscent of the Surfaris' "Storm Surf" completes the picture. There's something very engaging and compelling about this.

Spanish Blue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a nicely moody cover of Miles Corbin's lovely "Spanish Blue." Perhaps not as sensual as the original Aqua Velvets version, but certainly very cool and liquid surf.

The Jester dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jim Messina's namesake instro is raucously pumped out. The drums are pretty low the mix, but the wet guitars make it pure surf. Plenty of vintage surf allure.