Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Berzerkers - Winter Swell IIdotdotdotdot
artworkWith a pedigree over a decade long in Bay Area surf, the Berzerkers are local faves that rocked the house at Winter Swell II January 27, 1996.
Picks: The Eel, Mung Taco, Meadowlands, It Came In The Wind, El Scratches, Manana Surf, Clap Pacific Sang, Indian Summer, Sacquito Fria, Waimea Cruncher, Mermud, In The Bottle, Chummin', Surfin' Japanese

Track by Track Review


The Eel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song has been in Dino Francesconi's set list for - well - he was playing it when I first met him way back in the early eighties, maybe '84 or before, from the early days with Da Monz. Anyway, it's in E, hence the name.

Mung Taco dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I take sole credit for the name of this track. Dino thought it had a Spanish feel, and wanted a food title. Naturally, I said "mung taco." He liked it, and it was done. Great number with plenty of power and energy.

Meadowlands dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

About 9 years ago, I played a version of Meadowlands by the Vanguards on my show. Dino loved it immediately, pestering me to play it every week for an eternity. It was under the title it has been better known as in Euro rock instro circles, Rocket Man. Dino's arrangement is pretty true to that, but more grodie and the live session adds yet more angst to it.

It Came In The Wind dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Inspired by a certain waft of odorific windage encountered one aromatic afternoon, this song moves right along with a real sense of motion. Great drums and bass lines support Dino's great writing.

El Scratches dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's all about itching and scratching, not the cartoon, but the hobby. Too much fun!

Manana Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dino was searching for a Spanish name that would convey the lazy day at Mazatlan feel of the song, and I leaked out "mañana surf." He didn't like it right off, but soon came around. This is nearly as liquid as the album track, and certainly moodier, with sparkling reverb.

Clap Pacific Sang dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sophistication enters the world of surf instros. Lots of blues influence, and a dab of pomp and regalia enhance this powerful track. Big, powerful, and splashy.

Indian Summer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Indian beat number is smooth and liquefied, with a near-quicksilver melody line and moody theme. Tribal, emotional, and enigmatic.

Sacquito Fria dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sacquito Fria" is a melodic and well written song. As a trio piece, it takes on a very different timbre from the studio track. Powerful and a bit grodie.

Waimea Cruncher dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another song Dino didn't have a name for. His description of it at the beginning of the track was basically what he told me back in '95 the first time we made a demo of it. We played for a long time with different names, finally settling on the name of the biggest wave location on earth and the gnarliest it-will-kill-you term we could dredge up. It sounds like the name, huge, pounding, ominous, and threatening.

Mermud dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Where do mermaids and Mermen come from? Mermud!" - Dino Francesconi 1996.

A thundering number with a nod to the Mermen and the delights of the mythical sea creatures, the sirens of the deep.

In The Bottle dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a song that Dino has been doing for a while under several names. Any beer drinker will identify right away. Great club stompin' track.

Chummin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song dates from 1988. It is a Dick Dale-ish number, with lots of opportunity to splash on guitar. Really good song, and a solid performance.

Surfin' Japanese dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thrashin' and bashin' out the Jon and the Nightriders tribute to the Vapours. A few errors did not mar the enthusiasm of the crowd.