Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Balboas - Heavy Surf Advisorydotdotdot
artworkGoodness, an edgie eighties guitar sound in a nineties surf stylee, with melodically structured songs. Akron, Ohio is home - big surf in Akron. Landlocked wavery with more mainstream sounds, well written tunes, and consistent quality. Thunder and brine, more than rock, less than double overhead. There are also a couple of beach-punk-pop vocal here, one called "Green Death," and the other called "Christian Cowgirl," plus "Mister Sin II." All three sport quite a twang, and that Impact V tribal tom tom beat from "Jet Stream."
Picks: Mister Sin I, Mt. Olive, Temperance, Son Of Dale (Jimmy Dale), Rumble, Grandma Sandbox, Wipe Out, Peter Gunn, Tonic, Fish Head, Surf Beat

Track by Track Review


Mister Sin I dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a melody that suggests "Secret Agent Man," but isn't really, this is a nice track, with a thumpy solid beat, and an intense thickness. Club targeted higher register surfitis.

Mt. Olive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track, double picked over a screaming femme vox, and quite dramatic. Not as melodic as I'd like, but intensely delivered. Slightly middle eastern, largely scary. The contrast between the Bedouin ethic and the edgie guitar is interesting.

Temperance dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a toned down "99th Wave" (Surf Trio), this seems to fly about, grinding out a nightmare ride at Sewer Peak. It's not quite as melodic or powerful as "99th Wave," but it sure is swell. High energy knife edge wave ride sounds.

Son Of Dale (Jimmy Dale) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Named for Dick Dale's offspring lad Jimmy, this is a very tribal surf beat chunkmeister. Double picked, aggressive, slightly melodic, and backed by whoops and hollers from the bandmates. Solid track.

Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's most covered composition. This is a fairly strait cover of the album version, with big guitar ringing edge, and a slightly fast performance. Cut's concrete without a blade. Boss intense performance, thick twin guitar attack, and great.

Grandma Sandbox dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with the sort of postmodern drama that the Mallards' "Tsunami" used, this is a fine composite of twang, mad cow disease, and a Dick Dale roller coaster ride. It's dissonant, edgie, and shredzzzz with mean power.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The almost silly scream opener quickly yields to a nearly discordant performance, reminiscent of the Not Moving version from the Strange Doll ep. A similarly uncomfortable soundscape, with demented tension. Who can overcome Ron Wilson's magnificent drums?

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine slow evil Henry Mancini power trip, dark, moody, and relentlessly cool. It lumbers along, like an alien slime flowing through the underworld on it's way to your house. In a word, it's BIG!

Tonic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chimes of time running out, imminent danger, thick brooding scowls, and an industrial swamp. It's all about tone and sound, not melody. It's also quite strong. Mid-tune, there's a narrative about how awful it is to run out of tonic. Pretty funny.

Fish Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sumptuous atmospheric reverb, a semi industrial guitar tone, a bovine feel, and a long droning groan. There are parts that hint of the Chocolate Watchband's "One Step Beyond." Pretty nifty.

Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's first surf-named tune, churned out with all the chunk and pump required. The grindy damped guitars give this a unique sound, and keep it from being just another cover. Thick, layered surf grind.