Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Chesterfield Kings - Surfin' Rampagedotdotdot
artworkThis CD is mostly surf pop vocal mung, all but six tracks, anyway. I think they wanna be the Barracudas or the Surfin' Lungs, but they only muster the energy of the Swedish vocal bands. It's very disappointing, given the instro to vocal ratio of 6:32, or only about 20%. The instros that are here don't really do justice to the originals, and are relatively tepid performances. Too bad, 'cuz they were once a fave band of mine. Somehow their edge and creativity didn't translate to surf instros, and the whole beach pop thing really blows chunks, even if you like that genre. Compared to the Astronauts' "Competition Coupe," the version here is thin and lifeless.
Picks: Moon Relay, Beat '65, Double O Surf, Echo, Coffin Nails, Surfin' Rampage

Track by Track Review

Moon Relay dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The original version of this song by the Vistas is full and infectious. This version misses that mark. It's pretty accurate, but the clarity of the original production, and the fullness of body are both missing, resulting in a good performance being hidden in the mix, particularly the balance between the two guitars that is so essential to this song. If you hadn't heard the original, this would be just fine.

Beat '65 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Richie Podolor / Richard Burns tune was first issued by the Surfaris, and later appeared in it's original demo form by Podolor's Devons lineup on a couple of Super Stocks CD's. This performance misses the subtleties intended, but it does have enough clarity to work OK.

Double O Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This original is sultry and smooth. It is the strong point of the CD. It features a fine melody, and moderate pace, and a rich sound. While it isn't five star surf, it is very worth while. I have played this a few times on my show, and it fits right in without a hitch. Good track.

Echo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A surfish tune with a Richie Podolor sound and a solid melody. It doesn't have enough variation, but it still works quite well. A nice track.

Coffin Nails dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This cover of the Ghouls' single written by Richie Podolor, has neither the coolness of the original, or the definition and magic of the original Podolor - Devons demo which appeared on the Super Stocks CD. It requires a certain bass - kick drum punch to work properly, and that is not evident here. It's good, just not up to the original.

Surfin' Rampage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title is far and away the best part of this mostly unmelodic track. It's derivative, fast, and energetic, but unmemorable.