Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
CHUM - For Those About To Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThe new disc from CHUM features a dozen heavy, brooding, and sometimes delicate tracks with a dark vision of the dangers of the deep. They continue to reside in their own corner of the surf world, seldom compromising their sound for mere acceptance. This is a strong CD.
Picks: Bone Killer, North Shore Theme, 4-Banger, Pinky Tuscadero, Hodad, King Kamanawanalea, Sweet Lowdown, Strummer, Tossin' Salad, Negative, Day In The Sun, J.A.P.

Track by Track Review

Bone Killer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Darkness abounds in this fairly melodic instrumental. Very dark tone and textures, a sense of a thick aural environment, and danger from below. The discomfort of thinking you are being eyed by a toothy predator from the deep comes over you as you bathe in "Bone Killer."

North Shore Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's a hard driving and very compelling piece of music that's on the fast side. Lots of energy and power. "North Shore Theme" is strangely mixed, with the guitar almost entirely on the right side of the aural panorama. I don't know why, but it's pretty annoying. That aside, the song rocks!

4-Banger dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"4-Banger" is a song with distortion and a grindy pumpin' beat as its main features. Dark and dangerous.

Pinky Tuscadero dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow moving and picturesque song has a swirly feel and sad energy. The wash of the atmosphere adds emotional depth. "Pinky Tuscadero" is a splendid piece of music with real imagery. I'm curious why such a sad song for Fonzie's former flame.

Hodad dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tribal intensity and very cool drums grind out a tuff and very enjoyable update of "Hodad."

King Kamanawanalea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a dark inversion of "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)" by the Turtles, this song's tribal beat and forlornned melody line are superb. Totally cool!

Sweet Lowdown dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slow introduction brings on a developing melody with a fluid nature and scenic quality. "Sweet Lowdown" is a nicely written instro with a romantic side to it. There is a sultry side to it that's blended with the sullen sounds of a mass. It grows on you.

Strummer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Structurally sounding like a tribute to Joe Strummer (101'ers, Clash), this song has his post-reggae edge and melodic sense. "Strummer" is quite a nice track.

Tossin' Salad dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"Tossin' Salad" slowly rises from a howl. Soon enough, the tribal drums come in and the bass rumbles below. Then, dark guitar chords out a choppy progression. More punk than surf, "Tossin' Salad" is a brooding and somewhat angry instro. It might more accurately be titled "Tossin' Cookies."

Negative dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A grumbly bass line brings forth drums and finally long tortured whammified chords that lumber before a slow walk to a gruesome end. dark and forbidding. "Negative" lumbers a slow walk to a gruesome end. Dark and forbidding. Heavy tortured and thick!

Day In The Sun dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting blend of modern Berzerkers-ish lead guitar with a traditional melody. The hook is original and endearing. A fine track with a thick and edgy sound that moves fluidly between subtlety and heavy-handedness.

J.A.P. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"J.A.P." is an intense and semi-traditional surf instro with a melodic edge. Rhythmic and dramatic, it seems like the guitar is too low in the mix, and kinda mushy. The song is a fine example of the power of simplicity. I like the active panning on the whammy chords. It's a song that's power centered. Rhythmic and dramatic, it uses its assaultive nature to drive the woody to the curl.