Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Avengers VI - Real Cool Hitsdotdotdot
artworkThe Avengers were a relatively small time band that connected to some interesting promotional opportunities not availed others. They also never issued their own album solely as a commercial release. Both this album, and the Suzuki promotional collection were issued as promotional devices, not general sale releases. Their music was not very well recorded, and some was not well produced or mixed, while other tracks were brilliant slices of trad surf. The band was from LA, with Jim Ferguson - lead, Jim Goodwin - rhythm, Rick Bastrup - rhythm, Curt Pickles - bass, Mike DeYoung - keyboards, and Bob Gallant - drums. "Time Bomb" c/w "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" were issued as Mark 56 single 202 in February, 1966. This album came out in 1964.
Picks: Heartbeat, Downtown, Mr. Lucky, None But The Brave, The Good Humor Stomp, Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, Pipeline, Summer Place, Peter Gunn, Time Bomb

Track by Track Review

Heartbeat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Heartbeat" is one of the great surf obscuros. It has a minor sadness, and a minimal melody that really works, backed by a cool walking backtrack, and great accents. Excellent whammy, and ringing tone. This is one of the essential surf tracks.

Downtown dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yup, this is the theme from "Chariots Of Fire" all decked out with a new wave guitar, electric piano, and prancing sensibility. You can just see them grinning while they dash this out. Completely fun.

Mr. Lucky dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

TV and film scores were often on the charts through the early sixties. Many were covered by the MOR artists. Some also found their way into surf band set lists. This is a good example of what surf bands did with the hits du jour.

None But The Brave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A film score styled original, melodic and well suited to the surf idiom. This is an enjoyable listen, with some very nice guitar work in a slightly Duane Eddy vein, especially in the break .

The Good Humor Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lot like some of the faster guitar boogies from the fifties, but reverbed out. It's not melodic. The break features the organ player.

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Eskimo Surf" sports an infectious melody, a rock edge, and cool almost xylophone-like keyboards. Nice arrangements, and very unusual writing combine to create a fresh and appealing sound. Almost dinner surf, maybe supermarket surf, but not in the negative way you might think of from that, but quite pleasant and very accessible. Fine track.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Ketts classic tune, back from the dead like a discordant vampire in search of an abandoned neck. The ska backbeat and electric piano lead lines are very cool. It's a highly unusual treatment of this over covered tune. New Wave thumpy, TVOD pointed, and gnat irritating in a good way.

Summer Place dotdotdot
Sock Hop Surf (Instrumental)

The theme from "Summer Place" is tinkly slowly and gently played out with no particular enthusiasm or hook. Sock hop.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really fine surf rendering of Henry Mancini's detective theme. It's less gutty than Dick Dale's Le Disc session, but very reverby and chunky. Big twang, ultra damped reverbed rhythm, and splashy danger. Very cool!

Time Bomb dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid original, with drum fury and a magnetic melody line that is quite sad. The organ and guitar trade roles from verse to verse. Minimal, but really cool.