Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Breakaways - On The Airdotdotdotdot
artworkThis second CD-R release from the Breakaways was cut live on Jim Dunfrund's Surf Waves on KXLU, and mixed by Paul Johnson. I really like this band's approach. While I'm normally a fan of powerful surf, these folks use skill and a liquid sound to create a quiet power not often seen in surf. Recommended! The production is a little odd, with the tracks either essentially mono with stereo delayed 8 bit reverb to create a stereo illusion, or almost ambiently recorded.
Picks: Earthquake, Walk, Don't Run, Ocean View, Soul Surfer, Mr. Moto, Shake-N-Stomp, Surfer's Lullaby, Storm Surf, Waimea, Diamond Head, Morocco, Lonely Road, North Shore Rumble

Track by Track Review


Earthquake dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big "Pipeline"-esq glissando opens this cover of Marlowe Stewart and The Illusions "Earthquake" in the mold of the Jon and the Nightriders' reworking as "Earthquake At Surf City." Infectious and beautifully played. Warm and perfectly fluid.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

At the hands of the Breakaways' unique low key style, this venerable classic finds a new warmth. This is the Ventures' 1960 arrangement, richly toned and warmly whammied. This is pure and perfect. Very smooth.

Ocean View dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ocean View" is a really pretty surf tune, with warm deep rich vibrato and dry ringing chords. The riff is vintage perfect. The clarity of the guitar tone is stunning. I found myself coming back to this track repeatedly. It is pretty, interesting, and very well played.

Soul Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Johnny Sudetta's classic tune is a perfect vehicle for the warm soft surf sounds of the Breakaways. Spanish village flair and spillway flow, with gorgeous tone.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A stylized softer than the Belairs rendering of Paul Johnson's most famous tune. A very pleasing version.

Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Never did Dick Dale's tune sound so liquid and gentle. The sound of the guitars and the reverb is perfect.

Surfer's Lullaby dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and ringing, "Surfer's Lullaby" is a mighty pretty surf ballad, with a liquid melody line and a warm breezy sound. Most pleasing.

Storm Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This mid tempo number oozes the warmth and a summer shore break. The melody progression is Dire Straits inspired in sound and structure, and reminds me that I always wondered why they never did a surf album. Quite a nice song!

Waimea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rough glissando opens this very original tune. It is delicately driven through a splendid riff and warm rhythms. Quite appealing.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an almost eleki nod to the Ventures, the Breakaways deliver "Diamond Head" with Nokie-isms in tact, and with poise and grace not found in other versions. Very cool.

Morocco dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual tune is quirky and playful, with a start-stop arrangement and warm desert riff. Cool!

Lonely Road dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal exotic drums and a soft shimmering second guitar supports this summery excursion into the sunset. Beautiful, nearly stunning. A very pretty melody that paints a picture of immediate warmth.

North Shore Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dribbling surf and whammy, crunch and charm, and a restrained menacing quality as well. The up-down glissandoes are just too cool! Excellent!