Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Adrian and the Sunsets / Jim Messina and the Jestersdotdotdotdot
artworkAdrian and the Sunsets were drummer Adrian Lloyd's band after he left the Rumblers. This CD is a from-vinyl repro of their album in stereo (just barely). The sound is quite clean. There are several vocals, and some decent instros. Frankly, the Rumblers were a much better band, as were the Hollywood Sunsets, which followed.

Breakthrough is the lone highlight instro.

Jim Messina and the Jesters were one of the great surfbands from the end of the original surf era. The tracks on this CD are a mix of the original Audio Fidelity album mixes in mono and later Thimble remixes.
Picks: Breakthrough, Slippin', Nothin' But Drums Part 1, Nothin' But Drums Part 2 (for surfers only), Wipe Out, Boss, Pipeline, Stomping Time, The Breeze and I, Raunchy, No Name Dragster, Strange Man, High Voltage, Yang Bu, The Thing, The Jester, Suspense Run, The Cossack, Masatlan Rally, Honky Tonk, Chihiuahua [Chihuahua], Tamale Wagon #2, Hollywood Sound

Track by Track Review


Breakthrough dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a semi quirky spirited show number. It has plenty of pizzazz, but not much melody. It is a stomp-oriented number that rocks, and is quite fun.

Slippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Slippin'" is a "Wipe Out" based number that is little more than derivative. It beckons too strongly to the Surfaris classic, and bears too little identifiable uniqueness.

Nothin' But Drums Part 1 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nothing But Drums Part 1" is just that. Adrian Lloyd must have thought he was a great drummer or something. Sandy Nelson or Hal Blaine he wasn't. Maybe this was a number that went over well live. In the studio, this is just boring.

Nothin' But Drums Part 2 (for surfers only) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nothing But Drums Part 2" may be for surfers only, but it isn't any more interesting than part one.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Every band in old LA had to do "Wipe Out" live, but did they have to record it too? "Wipe Out" should never be covered by anyone. No drummer has ever bested Ron Wilson at this, his trademark song. There are lots of reasons, but mostly it is Ron's fluid playing style, widely varying attack, and erratic timing that made it work.

Boss dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Boss" is a song that Adrian Lloyd brought with him from the Rumblers, but it's just not as strong as the original. Certainly, they had a right to cover it, but it has none of the magic of the original.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays's "Pipeline" is not very well played. It's nice enough, but without the glissandoes, it just doesn't work very well. The piano is quite nice, though.

Stomping Time dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Stomping Time" is pretty much standard 50's instro fair, nothing remarkable.

The Breeze and I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A double picked fiery lead accompanied by a dry second guitar and a thumpy bass and drums. Strong delivery, with a thick sound. This track wails, with a fast delivery and plenty of energy.

Raunchy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A thick and unusual version of the Bill Justis hit, but not very interesting. Chunky and full of screams from the band.

No Name Dragster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track employs a funky progression, is R&B oriented R&B, and has a fairly non surf melody line. Not very interesting.

Strange Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Strange is right. Launching from a variation on the Twilight Zone intro notes, this track visually screams "weird." It is somewhat like a cross between the Rumblers' "Boss" and the Rod Serling classic television show. It's not complicated at all, but is quite attractive, in a curiosity way. It also has a lasting effect, and stands up to repeated listenings. Quite unusual.

High Voltage dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Screaming engines, squealing tires, and thundering tom toms launch this high energy pounder. The melody is minimal, but the chord progression is unusual. Infectious and spirited.

Yang Bu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Super chunky mean surf. The boys scream and shout relentlessly. The melody is shallow, but the ominous nature of the tune is very magnetic. This is a powerful and vicious surf track. It is also the Jesters' most familiar track.

The Thing dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tom tom tribal, damped reverb chunk, and a jam lead guitar. This is like a B section of an AABA song, extended to be the whole thing. Powerful, but lacking in focus. The drum solo is very strong.

The Jester dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is just about as powerful and fast as surf gets, spitting notes out like machine gun bullets. The melody is a fine infectious bit of writing. This high powered track is just about the best Jim Messina writing ever. Nearly every cover IÕve heard has paled to this and the Thimble version.

Suspense Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funky soul groove surf, with motor sounds overdubbed. This could easily be an R&B track from Bill Black or Ernie Freeman, but it is from the mind of Messina. OK, but not remarkable.

The Cossack dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The other great killer monster from the Jesters. This punishes the peace and quiet of an afternoon daydream with violently powerful double picking, and spectacular writing. The backtrack is not very Russian, but the melody is both eastern European and middle eastern sounding. Great track.

Masatlan Rally dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the flair of a Mexicano and the style of a hot roddin' surfnik, Jim Messina chunks out an intensely rhythmic and driving song. Strong and edgy, with plenty of surf reverb.

Honky Tonk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bill Dogget that had the hit? This is a nice surf adaptation of an old R&B instro. Nice performance, and the tone suits the melody.

Chihiuahua [Chihuahua] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional Mexican melody sounds really good converted to a surf track. The melody is a lot like the sort of thing Paul Johnson was writing in the early days of surf. It's rhythmic, infectious, and chunky. The bouncy and playful performance are quite enjoyable.

Tamale Wagon #2 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tamale Wagon #2" is mostly choppy, and very similar to a blend of the Piltdown Men's instro hit "Brontosaurus Stomp" and Duane Eddy's "Mason Dixon Lion." This is relatively non-melodic, and unremarkable as well. The hot rod sounds overdubbed do not help. It's not the same song as other Jesters tracks of the same name.

Hollywood Sound dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This has that funky Sunset Strip Go-Go club rhythm, and a chunky sound. It's a jam, and probably useful to end sets for that break.