Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bitch Boys - Ride The First Wavedotdotdotdotdot
artworkSlovenia's amazing Bitch Boys have put together this 30 song set of covers, but they are so thoroughly immersed in the band's sound and arranging skill that they might as well be originals. Grand playing and arranging, and thoroughly enjoyable!
Picks: Ghost Hop, Banzai Washout, Sandstorm, Ali Baba, Graveyard, 20,000 Leagues, Knjazagor vs. Phantom Of The Opera, Surf Rider, Caterpillar Crawl, Dark Eyes, Damascus, Big Noise From Makaha, Dracula's Theme, Shockwave, Cloudburst, Pendleton Surf, Rat Pfink Theme, Chinese Surf, Twilight City, Puseta Beat, Breakin' Up, 4th Dimension, Rockin' Rebel, The Breeze And I, Out Of This World, Gotcha, Vltava, In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Tamburalo Momce Uz Tamburu, Snowman

Track by Track Review


Ghost Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfmen's catchy "Ghost Hop" is really reverbed out and splashy as all get-out. Warm tone, exotic whammy action, and great rhythm. It simply shimmers with surf playfulness.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Douglas' classy "Banzai Washout" shimmers and races with surf excitement. Fast, doubled picked flair, and exceptional beauty. One of the best covers of this venerable surf classic.

Sandstorm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sandstorm" (Sportsmen?) rages and romps with an ample supply of surf shimmer and dribbling double picking. High energy and very splashy.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ali Baba" simply flies with splash and rippin' double picked power. This is a brilliant and wonderfully played version that's quite magnetic. Dave Zdunich's wonderful surf rage is a song that I tend to think of as the great lost "Miserlou." It's been covered quite a bit, from Jon and the Nightriders and Surf Nation to the Surf Raiders and the Fifty Foot Combo.

Graveyard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

the darkness of the Phantom Five's original take is replaced with shimmering vibrato and a lighter menacing. haunting, yet rhythmic and magnetic. "Graveyard" is a splendid track.

20,000 Leagues dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"20,000 Leagues" is a fast paced rompin' liquid trip down a velvet smooth coastal highway. Lots of interplay between the lead and rhythm guitars. Excellent.

Knjazagor vs. Phantom Of The Opera dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A liquid and very beautiful "Stranger in Paradise" is interlaced with a rapid "Phantom Of The Opera" in a very effective merger. Quite fun.

Surf Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A mighty bouncy version of Nokie Edwards' most covered instrumental is a blend of a rockabilly beat and shimmering surf guitars. Way cool.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Strangers' obscuro is reinvented from it's dry mid-tempo groove to be rhythmically intense, faster, and very splashy. Not at all like other covers that tend to emphasize the danger, the Bitch Boys give it a playful sound, which makes it very much theirs.

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Most rock instrumental covers of "Dark Eyes" are in the Shadows tradition. Not this one. Double picked, reverbed out, and very surfy.

Damascus dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Originally by either the Ricco-Shays or the Blue Boys (I don't know which came first), "Damascus" is brought fully into the surf idiom to great effect. A little moody, uplifted mid-eastern, and very rhythmic is that requisite surf way.

Big Noise From Makaha dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Majestics' obscuro "Big Noise From Makaha" is quite different here. There's a haunting echoed spatial sound, and lots of dribbling surf guitar. The song seems somehow European. Quite nice.

Dracula's Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Podolor's haunting "Dracula's Theme," originally cut for his studio project the Ghouls, is slow and ominous, with a vast soundscape of sadness. Very pretty, and profoundly spooky.

Shockwave dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Zorba & the Greeks' "Shockwave" employs lots of reverb and vibrato, and features excellent guitar work. It's fast and splashy and very cool. It's been covered a few times, but this may well be the coolest version.

Cloudburst dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Australian band Laurie Wade's Cavaliers originally cut "Cloudburst" as a relatively dry rock instrumental many years ago. The Bitch Boys completely reverbed out the arrangement, completing the conversion to surf.

Pendleton Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From a basic riff rock origination comes a great surf instro with a wonderful damped reverb verse amid a variety of verse styles. The frequent changes keep it very interesting. Lush and well done.

Rat Pfink Theme dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rat Pfink Theme" bounces and laughs through reverbed and echoed guitar wizardry that's very pleasing. Great drums too. A fine track!

Chinese Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Steel's playful "Chinese Twist" double picks and splashes in a much surfier romp than the original. Shimmering vibrato and reverb, and layered spookiness. Quite cool.

Twilight City dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is much more energetic and uplifting than the Vulcaines' original. Poppy and surfy, and bright. "Twilight City" is well suited for the Bitch Boys' liquid style.

Puseta Beat dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Puseta Beat" has a Mediterranean beat and dribbling balalaika-like guitar style. Very fun and playful, with violin added for even more authentic joy. Quite nice!

Breakin' Up dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Perhaps just a little wackier than the Fabulous Continentals' original, "Breakin' Up" is twanged and played with over excellent drums. Very reverby and cool.

4th Dimension dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Centuries' very cool obscuro loses the electronic spaciness and gains shimmering reverb twang. "4th Dimension" a.k.a. "The Outer Limits" is lush and rhythmic, and very pleasing. The rhythm guitar plays only part of the rhythm pattern, but it does not seem to detract from the song's attraction.

Rockin' Rebel dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Strangers' obscuro is brought fully into the surf, with a glorious damped reverb verse that's so very Midwest! Excellent! "Rockin' Rebel" comes from the same band that cut "Caterpillar Crawl" first.

The Breeze And I dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Most often done in a slow and lush arrangement, the Bitch Boys carry on instead with what Jim Messina and the Jesters did with it. Very fast, high powered, and brutally surf. A splendid and high spirited version that is nonetheless very pretty.

Out Of This World dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

haunting and spooky, uplifted and moody, and European sounding. Is this Tony Hatch or the Rapiers' song? No matter, "Out Of This World" is a fine and energetic eastern European thing with surf credentials via double picking and reverb. Great drums.

Gotcha dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine cover is more reverbed and whammy stung than the Tradewinds' original. Upbeat and very fun, with ample surf and splash throughout.

Vltava dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Much more on the pop side, "Vltava" is a decidedly European melody that's adapted well to the surf idiom. catchy and just a bit moody, and softened with strings.

In The Hall Of The Mountain King dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" is perhaps arranged a little like Nero and the Gladiators' single, but with surf picking and reverb like the Avengers VI version. Fast and fun.

Tamburalo Momce Uz Tamburu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Bitch Boys are racing and splashing through this traditional tune. Splendid sound and fury, upbeat and very attractive, with interesting production.

Snowman dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Snowman" is a slow and haunting song of beauty and lush arranging. It has a hugeness like the Mermen, but is much lighter. Very fluid and pristinely pretty. Long dribble glissandos and spooky echoes.