Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The AquaSonics - Rough Demosdotdotdot
artworkSome of these demos are stereo takes that ended up on their album, and others are only found here. What all of these tracks from the AquaSonics show is a band with a very good vintage vibe, and they wet my appetite for the day they get captured in really good stereo. My guess is these guys are very good live.
Picks: Apache, Mr. Moto, The Wedge, The Infantile Surf, The Jester, Out Of Limits, Pipeline, Spanish Blue, Squad Car, Surf Softly

Track by Track Review


Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based on the Shadows' version, though reverbed in addition to delayed, this track is an enjoyable journey back into a time when reverb ruled. Quite pleasant, and done with genuine reverence. Great whammy chords.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The simple direct arrangement of Paul Johnson's classic provides a very pleasant experience. What's particularly interesting to me is the really good bass line, which includes some warm slides. It's interesting because the original Belairs' release had no bass, and virtually every cover uses a much less interesting bass line. Also very cool is the warmly double picked guitar lines.

The Wedge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty muddy take of Dick Dale's "The Wedge," and in mono to boot. The performance is excellent.

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.

The Jester dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jim Messina's namesake instro is raucously pumped out in extremely muddy sound. The drums are pretty low the mix, but the wet guitars make it pure surf.

Out Of Limits dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a warm and moody cover of the Mar-Kets' hit. It's quite different in some ways, yet very period correct in others. The double picked lines give it a Spanish flavor that's very cool!

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very murky mono take of the Chantays' "Pipeline." The arrangement is a lot like the Lively Ones on places. Very cool drums and bass.

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 long floating notes are very emotional.

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! The distant sound dampens the spirit some, but it still passes muster.

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. This is a pretty muddy take.