Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Crossfires - Out Of Controldotdotdotdot
artworkThe Crossfires are the legendary band that evolved into the Turtles. Rhino released most of this material earlier in the eighties on vinyl, but know its all on CD and sounding pretty good. The master tapes were held all these years by the late drummer Don Murray. Their vocal tunes were always bizarre, or at least funny ("One Potato," etc.), but it was their fiery surf instros with a most unusual dual sax onslaught that set them apart. They were on Lucky Token Records, the same label that issued the post Paul Johnson Bel-Aires single.

The band was really hot, judging from these tracks. The ten instros here feature the lead guitar wizardry of Al Nichol, the sax menagerie of Howard Kaplan and Mark Volman (Flo & Eddie), Don Murray's drums, Chuck Portz' bass, and rhythm guitar work from Dale Walton and on later tracks Tom Stanton (Surf Kings).
Picks: Silver Bullet, Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, Chunky, Out Of Control, Fiberglass Jungle, Pull Top, Inferno, Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer, Silver Bullet, Revelaire

Track by Track Review


Silver Bullet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the sax herald opening, you know it's gonna be the "William Tell Overture," and unlike other surf bands, this one is fronted by a pair of sax players, so... Chunky surf backtrack, and highly rhythmic. Fun.

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A scary idea - a song that flip-flops between soft sax dominated fluff and hardcore creaming surf guitar rave, in a Jekyll and Hyde schitzo vein. Very cool.

Chunky dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hey Kids, what time is it? It's Chunky Time!" Dedicated to the bulbous inclinations of the front men, this surf tune is funny, surfy, energetic, and frat oriented. Solid guitar work from Al Nichol, and brilliant frat mentality. The track sounds like it's from vinyl or an acetate.

Out Of Control dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Flying evil double picked guitar from Al Nichol slaughters a couple of notes and a grinding chord progression. This bruiser invokes dreaded images of immense storm surf, choppy and all hashed out. High powered and high energy. A blazer.

Fiberglass Jungle dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A gentle wave rippling at the shore chord opens to a totally ominous low-E grinder, with evil sax from the twins Kaplan-Volman a.k.a. Flo and Eddie, thundering bass from Chuck Portz, rhythmic tribal drums from Don Murray, and utterly incredible Al Nichol guitar work. This is a must-have surf MONSTER!

Pull Top dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Poundy! Island whammy, fast and furious, pummelicious rhythms, super fun melody line. These are but a few of the delights that await within the bits-n-bytes of this track. The source is probably acetate or vinyl.

Inferno dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al Nichols shreds right from the get go, supported by Dale Walton's pulverizing rhythm guitar, which delivers the majority of the chunky rhythm here. Evil, dark, surf to the max, huge. A great dark surf rave.

Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

OK, so it's not an instro, but hey, it's a stupid surfin' Christmas track, just as cool as the Surfaris or the Trashmen, so what the hey! Dumb gimme-da-surf-stuff conversation with Santa Claus, with a box of Band-Aids at the top of the list to patch up the wounds after unsuccessfully shooting the curb.

Silver Bullet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the sax herald opening, you know it's gonna be the "William Tell Overture," and unlike other surf bands, this one is fronted by a pair of sax players, so... Chunky surf backtrack, and highly rhythmic. Fun.

Revelaire dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again with Tom Stanton on rhythm guitar, with is a slower more melodic track,with a sax lead that is almost more a backup. Al Nichol's guitar leads are interesting,and the chunk of t he track is excellent.