Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Centurions - Bullwinkle Part IIdotdotdot
artworkAfter a mere 3 decades of false starts and mis-issues, it's finally released correctly. In the early 60's, the first Centurions (aka Centurians) album was released with the same artwork as the Bruce Johnston Band's "Surfers' Pajama Party", so no one knew which album they were getting. Then, 30+ years later, Del-Fi decided to reissue the album on CD, and guess what? So, after more bad press and customer complaints, they finally generated some real artwork for the album, and released on CD all cleaned up. The Centurions were/are from the Costa Mesa / Newport Beach area, starting in '58. It wasn't until 1960 that they went into a studio, and not until 1962 that they recorded and released some mighty gnarly surf tracks, which were available on the "Surf War" compilation on Shepherd, now reissued on CD by Sundazed. This album followed. It's more polished (less raw), if that word applies to the Centurions. Very ominous low-E reverb drenched surf mixed with Mariachi flavored "Soul Beat". You've doubtless heard "Bullwinkle Part II" from Pulp Fiction. Raw instros for a Saturday night rumble.
Picks: Bullwinkle Part II, Intoxica, Body Surfin', Holiday Girl, Church Key, Surf Bird, Vesuvius, Tuff Soul, Sano, Comanche, Latin'ia, Surfin' At Mazatlan

Track by Track Review

Bullwinkle Part II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual track was featured prominently in the cult film Pulp Fiction, which thrust this otherwise little know band into the frontal lobes of the American conscience. The track is oddly structured, and very cool. I like the rawness of the original better, but the sense of ensemble here leaves this to be the over all fave.

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low down version of a common surf song, not particularly outstanding, but definitely grodie.

Body Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Minimal two chord double picked mean guitar surf grind. Edgie and energetic. Not melodic, but powerful none the less.

Holiday Girl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Holiday Girl" is a putzie last dance prom buster. It's gnarly for this sorta thing, but still just a slow roll on the dance floor.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the more tepid versions of this Revels classic.

Surf Bird dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a trashy and dumb song. The vocal version is the worst, but this is moderately OK. Mostly, just a sleazer.

Vesuvius dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With none of the Spanish feeling of the Sentinals version, this is much more a rocker. It's choppy boppy delivery is very cool.

Tuff Soul dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low down grodie surf and R&B blend in the Bill Black mold, but with excessive reverb. Darn mean.

Sano dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title "Sano" was slang for sanitary, as in clean, as in very VERY nice, tastefully done. This is a simple R&B progression emoted from a low-E with a grind, and a sax break to kick. It has an East side car-club feel to it.

Comanche dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a nasty version of the Revels' number featured in Pulp Fiction. It's less raspy, but more grodie and much more soulful. It slowly fades into the end from about the half way point. Very cool.

Latin'ia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow and tentative version of this most gorgeous of all vintage surf tunes is odd, and somehow magnetic. It sports none of the beauty, but in some ways foretells the hugeness of the Bambi Molesters and Mermen versions. Very interesting.

Surfin' At Mazatlan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' At Mazatlan" is one of their faster more upbeat tracks. It's Spanish influences are obvious, though somewhat mechanical. Bitchin' vintage mean surf.