Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Bruce Bolin - Surfin' The New Millenniumdotdot
artworkBruce Bolin is a long time audio guy with a passion for guitar, which call him to the California coast. His interpretation of the surf may be well done and very personal, but it's not even remotely related to surf music unless you define it as merely instrumental. Surfin' The New Millennium is a nice release. It's just not instrumental surf music. I think mostly I really don't like the guitar tone at all, and the corporate sound doesn't help either. Way too many of the tracks have a sameness about them that made it very hard to listen all the way through to write this review. I kept putting it off.
Picks: Summer Daze, Keepin' Up, Into The Groove, September Song, Rockin' For Valerie, Y'ain't Gettin' Me, Spunky, Standing At the Gate To Your Garden, Set 'Em Up, Morning Song, Marauder, Gray November Morning, Been Down That Road, Tippy-Toe Mode

Track by Track Review

Summer Daze dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Summer Daze" sports a nice riff and warm sound. The bass is perhaps the most interesting sound here. You can picture this used on a surf film, but it sure doesn't fit in the surf instrumental genre at all.

Keepin' Up dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Keepin' Up" verges on surf. You can imagine it played with reverb or in the Sandals' style. It doesn't change enough to keep up the interest, but is a very pleasant track.

Into The Groove dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow moody soft rock sounds and long low notes create an interesting scene. A long way from the surf genre, and the "Spooky" (Classics Four) rhythm begs comparison as well.

September Song dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The nearly MOR melody line and soft rock approach leave "September Song" in a soundtrack vein.

Rockin' For Valerie dot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Rockin' For Valerie" is a rock jam like the fillers used on stage by many groups. kinda nondescript. Rockin' yes, but is it surf? No!

Y'ain't Gettin' Me dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a bluesy song with long sultry notes that hint of eighties light rock. Not very interesting!

Spunky dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

An interesting backtrack funks under a disinteresting lead guitar. The melody is more or less workable in a surf vein in some circumstances, but really belongs in a surf film. "Spunky" is among the more memorable songs here, and has a grinning kinda sound.

Standing At the Gate To Your Garden dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow and deliberate, "Standing At the Gate To Your Garden" sports some cool harmonics and moody sounds. The backtrack is very nice too. Not a drop of surf, but in the right spot in a surf set, it could work. Still, it's pretty corporate sounding.

Set 'Em Up dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A hoedown for the bar room, "Set 'Em Up" is fun and funky in spots.

Morning Song dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow and soft rock smooth, "Morning Song" portrays the dawn well, even bringing a foggy coastline into view. Certainly this could work as a soundtrack piece.

Marauder dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Like an ode to Free, "Marauder" rocks in a deliberate funky English way. Otherwise, it's just a riff and a progression.

Gray November Morning dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Throbbing vibrato shimmers while harmonics glimmer. Slow and very moody, "Gray November Morning" is a very pretty song with real appeal. The melody and lead sound are not particularly interesting, but that second guitar is wonderful. The corporate licks lay waste to an otherwise surfable track.

Been Down That Road dot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Been Down That Road" has a very studio system sounding backtrack and melody line. A corporate anthem for a film adventure, but surely not surf.

Tippy-Toe Mode dot
Rock (Instrumental)

A slow ride traveling song with a moody backtrack and a so-so lead. Kinda jammy sounding.