Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Big Ray and the Futuras - Live on the Airwavesdotdot
artworkThis doesn't measure up to the caliber of the first CD. There are a couple of cool tracks, but the sound is low quality, and a couple of the covers are just routine. Underneath the murk lies a solid band that would be better served by recording well. The whole CD was recorded live on two Massachusetts radio stations, WMBR 88.1 Cambridge and WMFO 91.5 Medford. One of these two stations does demo quality work, and the other is no better than a boom box in the garage.
Picks: Medula Oblongata, Shot In The Dark, Doom Buggy, The Shag, Surf Hammer, Life On Mars, Our Favorite Martian, Mr. Moto, Cecilia Ann, Squad Car

Track by Track Review


Medula Oblongata dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a fine surf instro this is! With homage to Dick Dale's "Esperanza" and a melody nearly identical to Jim Messina and the Jesters's "The Jester," this tune is really friendly very surfy. The performance is solid too. It is much like What keeps this from being a four star track is the amateur mix, with the guitars way too low in the mix.

Shot In The Dark dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's "A Shot In The Dark" is surfed and jazzed up, with a noodly break line and an arrangement similar to the Boardwalkers'.

Doom Buggy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A murky sounding tune with inspiration drawn from the Original Surfaris' "Surfari." It's a power driven track with low-E growl, but the murk of the recording hides much of what is likely a hot performance.

The Shag dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Shag" is a choppy chunky frat rock tune for stompin'. No melody, just jumpin' riff rock. The lead guitar is low amidst the bass & drums.

Surf Hammer dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big chord swim wear and chunk, waiting for a melody line to appear. More grind than song. Very thin sound doesn't help.

Life On Mars dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ringing tones and a dramatic introduction, whammified and intriguing. The over all track is very strong, melodic and interesting. It has a pristine quality, a clarity of purpose. A very nice track.

Our Favorite Martian dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slower more shimmery rendition of the Bobby Fuller classic. This arrangement shows the flexibility of the tune and demonstrates the skill of the band as well. Very tasty.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Way too many covers, many better, some not. Average trio arrangement, but none of the delicate interplay that Paul Johnson intended when he wrote it.

Cecilia Ann dot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surftones' tune, played pretty darn trad, and horribly recorded. Again, out of phase and hard to listen to. I can't imagine this helping the band out. Beneath the murk is a very nice performance.

Squad Car dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a straight delivery of the Paul Johnson / Eddie & the Showmen tune, trashed by dreadful sound. Solid performance.