Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Cocktail Preachers - The Exotic Moods Of...dotdotdotdot
artworkThe Cocktail Preachers are a fine band with a well developed style that lends itself to making covers sound like they wrote them. They have also moved more into a tropical exotic vein with great results. This is a truly fine album!
Picks: Slave Girl, The Wedge, Apache, Quiet Surf, Blue Velvet, A Taste Of Honey, Highball Holiday, Kawanga Bop, Margarita Meltdown, Martini 5-0, Tear Drop, Penetration, Viva Las Vegas, Enchanted Sea, Pipeline, Tequila, Miser-Uke, Hawaiian Squad Car

Track by Track Review


Slave Girl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's glorious "Slave Girl" is very nicely done here. While it's very reverent to the original, it's more "Hawaiian" and very sultry. Lap steel, splendid exotic drums, and silky smoothness. I love it!

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's best written instrumental is slowed down and slushed out with acoustic guitar lead and exotic Latin percussion. "The Wedge" has been reborn as a lush sunny afternoon Mexican adventure. This is splendid!

Apache dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums, liquefied guitar, and silky bass give a splendid rebirth to this venerated song. "Apache" is very attractive in this soft surf meets sundown arrangement. Lovely!

Quiet Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a wonderful cover of Richard Podolor's most beautiful instro. Excellent drums, ringing chords, and rich bass in an arrangement that is very complimentary to the song. Moody and lush, with a very inviting sound.

Blue Velvet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Vinton's sappy "Blue Velvet" becomes suddenly very nice as the Cocktail Preachers revive it in their liquid style.

A Taste Of Honey dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"A Taste Of Honey" has been adapted before, but never like this. Others have exaggerated the quirky rhythm or played it straight. The Cocktail Preachers liquefied and slushed it out until it becomes soothing and warm.

Highball Holiday dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Highball Holiday" uses whammy and a touch of "Telstar" on the waves. The melody line is optimistic. It's a rhythmic and rich tune with a pure surf arrangement.

Kawanga Bop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A jazzy bass line lumbers in front of a tasteful guitar line. Los Straitjackets' "Kawanga" is turned exotic lounge silky to great affect. Very nice track.

Margarita Meltdown dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The exotic sound applies very well to the moody and exuberant "Margarita Meltdown." It's simply a very cool track. Tribal drums and splashy Mexican themes, with a melody line which is really infectious. Great bass and drums, and well emoted guitar. An excellent performance.

Martini 5-0 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mort Shuman's TV theme works well slowed down, as the Mermen demonstrated in the early nineties. It works even better with the lushness of exotic percussion and silky guitar. Sultry and seductive!

Tear Drop dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tear Drop" is a very pretty Santo and Johnny song, with lap steel and the requisite slow walk that made some of their work so romantic. Very well done, and very easy to listen to.

Penetration dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

How cool! A squishy ska-like beat under a very silky version of the Pyramids' "Penetration." Completely rethought, the song might as well be an original. Excellent!

Viva Las Vegas dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic tribal percussion makes "Viva Las Vegas" even more playful than it originally was, more playful, and much more credible. The fun abounds, and the surf 'n' slither sound adds immeasurably to this song.

Enchanted Sea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This much overlooked exotic anthem to mar del placido sounds really fine. Pure surf, dribbling muted reverb, and a moderate pace. Spectacular! Of the other versions out there, perhaps only the Alvarados compares from an art perspective. This is simply wonderful!

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays' "Pipeline" is done in a restrained fashion that shows off its durability and flexibility. This is quite nice, with delicate guitar and sparkling surf sound. Marvelous.

Tequila dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Champs's ultimate party instro is played with a delicate nod to Chuck Rio, with acoustic rhythm, exotic drums, very smooth bass, and splashy clean lead guitar. Entirely fun!

Miser-Uke dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nicolas Roubanis' classic instrumental, which became the signature song of surf, is taken to a whole new arena. The Cocktail Preachers play the lead on ukulele, and accompany it with a light and somewhat exotic backing. Very cool!

Hawaiian Squad Car dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The lap steel plays the siren... very cool! Paul Johnson's "Hawaiian Squad Car" slithers and slides and rocks as it should. A ska-like rhythm adds fun, and the exotic drums are wonderful. Really nice!