Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Beach Boys - Surfin' USAdotdotdot
artworkFrom a surf instro perspective, this is the beast Beach Boys album. 4 tracks qualify, though none are particularly great, all are serviceable.
Picks: Misirlou, Stoked, Honky Tonk, Surf Jam, Let's Go Trippin'

Track by Track Review


Misirlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an extremely dry, light weight, sloppy metered, and an almost energy free rendering. The performance does not inspire, and is placid. It's not bad, it's just free of the expected excitement of this song in the surf idiom. The inconsistent meter and pick attack really stand out.

Stoked dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track sports is a nice progression, and a simple melody line. It's mostly rhythmic, and sounds like the studio required them to "play quietly," as was the standard of the day among the white lab-coat boys. "Stoked" is perhaps the Beach Boys best original instro.

Honky Tonk dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Uninspired rendering of the Bill Doggett classic R&B groove instro. Clean, but not very interesting.

Surf Jam dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is probably the most energetic of the Beach Boys instro sessions. It is mostly a jam, as the title suggests, but it is infectious and fun. The rhythmic chunk carries it off.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A tepid performance and a thin guitar sound add up to a so-so track. No flair, and little to set it apart from the sea of covers.