Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Camp O.J. - Livedotdotdotdot
artworkWhat a chunky band. Great guitar work, rhythmic heavy backtrack, and infectious performance, plus a solid choice of covers made personal through powerhouse playing and arranging. Now defunct, they are reforming under the name Surf Nation, working out of Winona, Minnesota. Guitarist Tom Moncrief (Surf Raiders / Malibooz) leads the group, partnered with his wife Annie McLoone on rhythm guitar. Annie's is a songwriter who's material has been recorded by Dolly Parton, Mick Fleetwood, Nicolette Larson, and others. The band was completed by bassist Tom Kohner, who has appeared on Garrison Kiellor's A Prairie Home Companion radio show, and drummer Frank Utecht, with a mere 25 years of rock and blues under his belt. These tracks date from September 1996.
Picks: The Wedge, Mr. Moto, Nitro, Ali Baba, Squad Car

Track by Track Review


The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fire in the gut drives this hot version of Dick Dale's glorious song. Tuff and all pumped up, "The Wedge" is fast and furious, with major power and spunk. Great performance!

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's "Mr. Moto" is toughened up, glissandoed, and power driven. Edgy and gruff, it works well and holds attention.

Nitro dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's fiery "Nitro" is power driven with frenzied attack. Grumbly and growly, it's a fine take. The distortion on the guitars adds a sense of gravity to this already aggressive song.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave and the Customs' "Ali Baba" has not often been covered, but is considered by some to be the "other" "Miserlou." Camp OJ drives it hard with lots of flair. This band lived a short life, but cut a mean rug on stage with aggressive surf. This is a somewhat murky soundboard tape of the band in its prime.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sirens wail as "Squad Car" is introduced and pounded. Thick and grumbly, it definitely grabs you by the throat. A tuff performance of a great classic. The arrangement is both reverent and modernized.