Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Chantays - Re-Pluggeddotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD compiles much of the Chantays' nineties output, from their "Next Set" and "Waiting For The Tide" albums. Both are hard to come by, so this makes for a nice release. This band defined the surf sound with their classic 1962 "Pipeline." Updated, up-powered, and solid.
Picks: Killer Dana, Pipeline, Smokin' Da Pipe, Dances With Waves, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, So Cal Jungle, Baja, Clear The Room, Penetration, House Rock Rapid, Bailout At Frog Rock, Mr. Moto, Crystal T, Nightsand, Pipeline [unplugged]

Track by Track Review

Killer Dana dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Recut version of the hottest tune from their "Next Set" CD. It's a simple ditty with an infectious nature. This performance is less energetic, but has more finesse and a more effected lead guitar, with a bit of phasing or flanging. I think the "Next Set" version is better one because it is more reverby and has a deeper surf feel to it. Still, this is one powerful track.

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One can tire of covers of this surf archetype, but who has more right to cover it than the originators? This is a great rendition, and it is the only one I can think of that correctly uses the same first note gap that was on the original recording. It's funny how I never noticed it's absence on the plethora of covers, but the second it came over the monitors here, I said "yeah - perfect!" What a great version. The keyboards are just right in a modern semi-piano sound, as the song was intended to have. Wonderful!

Smokin' Da Pipe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great harmonics and a nice simple melody line, owing a a bit to "Killer Dana," but totally different in character. There are quite a few hints of the Mermen here, lurking under what has become the trademark Chantays sound. The melody is a bit seventies sounding.

Dances With Waves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great title! Vibrato and tom-toms and glissandoes and a near shimmer characterize the sound of this track. It seems almost melody free, mostly a riff. The break is weak, compared to the rest of the tracks.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Cattle Drive Surf (Instrumental)

Quite different from the version they recorded for their first album, but very nice indeed. The toms and the growling guitar make this a good listen. It is less intense, but more mysterious.

So Cal Jungle dotdot
Austin Country Rock (Instrumental)

An almost Austin country rock tune, far from surf in sound or character. Not to interesting.

Baja dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The delicacy of the song is maintained despite the bigger sound. This is a fine version of Lee Hazelwood's epic surf standard.

Clear The Room dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very cool number with percussive playing and infectious rhythms. The multiple guitar parts and toms are rather effective. It is a lot like "Bail Out At Frog Rock." You'll come back to it after many plays.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Using the arrangement of the Ventures version of this most familiar Pyramids standard, this is a rather unremarkable cover. I have never liked the Ventures arrangement, finding the added accents to be childish and annoying.

House Rock Rapid dotdotdot
Modern Rock (Instrumental)

Very cool rock (not surf) number. It reminds me of some early eighties stuff, maybe Wreckless Eric or the poppier 999 material, or maybe the Who. A great song to drive to, sophisticated, but with little surf feel.

Bailout At Frog Rock dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The second best track from "Next Set" recut with a lot less oomph in the guitar sounds, and mixed with the lead way too low for my tastes. It's a great song, but I don't care for the mix, which I think prevents it from being a five star track.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's tune surfed up, but alas it is just another cover of the Belairs' classic.

Crystal T dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The big sound of the new Chantays, this is not their best new original, but it's solid, and the sound is not too muddy here, though the general mix is just all even, with the lead guitar lines often buried or nearly lost. A big guitar modern rock track with not much surf feel.

Nightsand dotdotdotdot
Island Shimmer (Instrumental)

Slow shimmer and vibrato and a distant eerie romantic feel to the music, with a sound that hints of lyrics where none are found. It reminds me of the Aqua Velvets with lower guitar tones. A very nice mood piece, but little surf feel, though I could definitely see it on the soundtrack of some surf film.

Pipeline [unplugged] dotdotdotdot
Acoustic Surf (Instrumental)

Among the acoustic versions of "Pipeline," this is by far the best! All the right guitar parts are there, and it works really well. I'd hold this up to any electric version any day! Among the sea of covers, who to better play with it than the Chantays.