Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
|This is a mondo collection in mp3 only format. Much of it comes from a couple of theme comps (Jesus Christ Surfer Star) and American Graffiti Revisited). Fifty some tracks for a pittance.|
Picks: 20 Guitars North Of The Border - What A Piece Of Work Is Man, The Aqualads - The Blob, Barbara Ann, The Atlantics - Chantilly Lace, Atomic Mosquitos - Manchester England, Big Ray and the Futuras - Casino Royale Theme, I Only Have Eyes For You, The Bombers and the Vivisectors - Don't Put It Down, The Bradipos IV - Baby It's You, Come Go With Me, I Cosmonauti - Dolly Dance, Spanish Waves, Lazy, Cosy Boy, Spring Fiesta, Bikini Angel, Summer Girl, Thank You Paul, High Ride, Cajun Curl, Mexico Beach, 7th Level, Green Bay, Locals Only, First Kiss, Driver, Exotica Fever, The Look Of Love, Blue Surf, The Deoras - Since I Don't Have You, The Fabulous Plank-tones - Book Of Love, Paul Johnson - A Thousand Miles Away, Kahuna Kawentzmann - See You In September, The Lava Rats - My Conviction, Mel Previte and the Gangsters of Love - Crying In The Chapel, The Retroliners - Black Boys / White Boys, Rev Hank's Twang Gang - I Got Life, Squid Vicious - Close To You, Da Surfones - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Susan and the SurfTones - Nina's Empty Glass, Blondes In Cars, West 30, More, Casper Reef, Urban Surf Kings - Only You (And You Alone), Voodoo Court - (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me
Track by Track Review
20 Guitars North Of The Border - What A Piece Of Work Is Man
A billion guitars and bass gives "What A Piece Of Work Is Man" a surreal almost Christmas feeling. Maybe it's the Les Paul like cheesiness, or maybe the jazzy guitar lines.
This too cool and ultra silly black and white horror flick theme from the fifties gets the surf treatment, while it retains the happiness. Playful and just plain fun.
The Aqualads - Barbara Ann
The Aqualads take the Regents "Barbara Ann" out of the pop realm and into the tube. Lots of reverb and rich chords. Their shoutin' and stompin' in the background while the music moves and writhes. Lost of fun.
The Atlantics - Chantilly Lace
The Atlantics applies their craft to the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" to fine effect. Ultra low gutty guitar (or is that a six string bass?) mixes with tight and tuff lead guitar. Bouncy and fun, with a Los Straitjackets kinda beat and feel. A fine track!
Atomic Mosquitos - Manchester England
Excellent liquid guitars and great drumming are supported by solid bass. "Manchester England" becomes a very nice surf instrumental here. Splendid!
Big Ray and the Futuras - Casino Royale Theme
This is a mighty smooth arrangement, well played and most pleasing. It's got the right stuff. Big Ray and the Futuras even captured the "mashed potato schmaltz" (Bryan Ferry) of the original... very nice.
Big Ray and the Futuras - I Only Have Eyes For You
This most misty romantic doo-wop masterpiece is reverbed and surfed into a whole new groove. Big Ray and the Futuras do a brilliant transformation, with beautiful reverb and arranging. Stunning!
The Bombers and the Vivisectors - Don't Put It Down
Dueling Russian bands the Bombers and the Vivisectors rock out this simple club combo arrangement of "Don't Put It Down." It's really quite fun, and the riffs from "Wipe Out" are a nice touch.
The Bradipos IV - Baby It's You
Extra reverbed, spunky and nothing like the hit... yeah, you'll recognize the classic melody from the soulful groove of the Shirelles, but that's where it ends. With driven energy and splashy reverb, you'd swear this was what Burt Bacharach must have meant when he wrote it, but then why the mushy title? Excellent!
The Bradipos IV - Come Go With Me
From a sampled opening from the Del-Vikings' "Come Go With Me," the Bradipos IV power into a monster of a surf performance. Totally cool, and very reverby. Lots of drive and groovy splash.
The Bradipos IV - Kissin' Bonobo Roll
Frat rockin' surf 'n' swirl. Non melodic, but pretty chunky. Another northwest influenced piece.
I Cosmonauti - Dolly Dance
This is a really nice track, with a playful Mediterranean surf feel and almost grinning optimism. An excellent piece of music, playful, and quite catchy. Excellent track!
I Cosmonauti - Spanish Waves
"Spanish Waves" is a lightly crunchy number with very nice guitar lines. It has a romantic Mediterranean sound. Excellent!
"Lazy" is "a very lazy song dedicated to all lazy Italians" (a direct quote). It has an almost "Endless Summer" quality to it, fluid and breezy afternoon island magic with unlimited tropical imagery. Excellent!
"Cosy Boy" is a splendid song with a melodic European feel. It's breezy afternoon softness is carried on a rolling kind of backtrack. Very pretty.
I Cosmonauti - Spring Fiesta
This song has a fluid melody line and a smooth sense of motion. "Spring Fiesta" sounds just like its title implies, like a vacation in the country side. It hints of far away places and local scenery. A carefree feel and a sense of wide-eyed adventure.
I Cosmonauti - Bikini Angel
The melody of "Bikini Angel" moves with a playful lilt against a percussive second guitar for a most appealing effect. The fluid lead work is very smooth. It suitably has a bit of the girl-watcher feel.
I Cosmonauti - Summer Girl
"Summer Girl" bounces with fun in every verse. The excellent driving rhythm, melodic guitar lines, and a lusty joy are irresistible. This is a well written song with a real sense of open road optimism. Very happy and adventurous.
I Cosmonauti - Thank You Paul
The ringing slightly whammied chords at the ends of some guitar lines give "Thank You Paul" a sense of island surf adventure, as do the double picked lines. This is happy and very enjoyable. An excellent song!
Memphis Soul Surf (Instrumental)
Italy's Cosmonauti use fuzz and twang to recreate "High Ride" in their own impeccably cool way. A fun and rhythmic track, with excellent drums and bass holding the time.
I Cosmonauti - Cajun Curl
Cajun Surf (Instrumental)
Rich vibrato guitar and a bit of distant country slide, with a restrained feel. "Cajun Curl" is very smooth and very cool. Reverb, twang, and a cactus edge.
I Cosmonauti - Mexico Beach
This moderately paced tune oozes Mexico, with the addition of vibes, it says tropical with pinata flair and castanets percussion. It's a visual, delightful, and melodic picture of a cantina on a lazy afternoon. Good listening.
This fine track uses glissandos and Paul Johnson or Sandals influenced melody ideas with great energy and flair. It captures your heart and your imagination with whammy dipped notes and solid drive.
Thundering drums and playful almost tropical melody elements, and a smooth whammified island sound combine here to deliver a most listenable experience. Happy and imaginative.
I Cosmonauti - Locals Only
This is a slightly Ventures-ish track, but with more flair and energy. The damped lead plucks out a tasty riff, and the rolling percussion infects you. Nice track, like something from Nashville's outer edges.
I Cosmonauti - First Kiss
This is a splendidly enjoyable tune, with a tropical sound and wonderful lilt. It's melodic, fluid, and really nicely structured. It's Italian roots show in complimentary ways, giving this a summer holiday kinda feel. It dances across the monitors with energy and playful delight.
Speedy damped surfisms, swelling surf twang, and a brilliant soundscape. This is not particularly melodic, but it is very infectious and very well thought out. I found it hard to stop playing. I don't know why, but I expected a surf cover of the Beatles' song. Thank goodness it isn't.
I Cosmonauti - Exotica Fever
This Mexican flavored fantasy plays with laughter the way "Pipeline" plays with the motion of the waves. It is a fast paced, delightfully infectious track with solid drive and magnetic tone.
I Cosmonauti - The Look Of Love
Those Italian surf artistes I Cosmonauti give this a suitably pristine treatment. Their multi talented and widely experienced playing style is capable of pulling off MOR surf where no others dare. Quite pretty, and very respectful.
Expecting a shimmering surf tune from the title, like the Surfaris' "Blue Surf" or Davie Allan's "Beyond The Blue," I was first lulled into acceptance of the assumption from the first verse, but quickly enough, the pace doubled up, the drive kicked in, and the flying drums and guitars shredded, eventually double picking a solid surf adventure. The hand claps add a splendid pro edge to a potential single. Is this the Patents' tune? Fine track.
The Deoras - Since I Don't Have You
the Deoras present a beautiful arrangement of "Since I Don't Have You." Surf for the evening hours, cocktails and gowns flowing in the summer breeze. Very pretty.
The Fabulous Plank-tones - Book Of Love
Those Fabulous Planktones double pick and pick slide the crap out of the Monotones' "Book Of Love" with lots of flair and fun. Big flash and thrash surf fit for an afternoon raid on the 7-11 for another six-pack. Brilliant surf treatment.
Paul Johnson - A Thousand Miles Away
With all the finger finesse you'd expect from PJ, Shep and the Limelights' "A Thousand Miles Away" softly flows from his guitar. This is a very fine track, exquisitely played.
Kahuna Kawentzmann - See You In September
Lounge Exotica (Instrumental)
Kahuna Kawentzmann's exotica interpretation of this film score is instrumentally driven by shallow vibrato guitar back by bongos and a moody back track, with bells and all manor of cheesy fifties bachelorisms. Very suave.
The Lava Rats - My Conviction
A thrashing power shred of a song with surprising surfability. Powerful double picking and bass grumble. Nothing in the original musical ripped, but this sure does.
Mel Previte and the Gangsters of Love - Crying In The Chapel
Soft shimmering vibrato guitar leads the way in this beautiful arrangement of "Crying In The Chapel." Lush and pretty, and very romantic. I can't say I've heard anyone do this better.
The Retroliners - Black Boys / White Boys
Stereo lead guitar edges in with reverb and distortion. On the heavy side, with an ominous sound and energy. "Black Boys / White Boys" seems more about the danger than the melody, which works quite well here.
Rev Hank's Twang Gang - I Got Life
Rev Hank's Twang Gang have taken "I Got Life" off the stage and into the brine. Slightly silly rhythmically, but that just seems to add an endearing quality to this fine surf instrumental. Excellent.
Seks Bomba - Do You Know The Way To San Jose?
Lounge Fluff (Instrumental)
"Do You Know The Way To San Jose?" is just about as bizarre as they come. Like an adventure on an late sixties studio Moog album for guitar. This sort of thing could only have been born in the studios of the mind where the Swingle Singers hung out and never a real band showed their faces. So, this is about as perfect a replication of the era as you'll find. Not that I can stand it, but certainly well crafted. Think surf, then invert it and make Percy Faith arrange it... this is it.
Squid Vicious - Close To You
Twango Surf (Instrumental)
Austin's Squid Vicious knows how to make this shine... and you can almost see the grins on their scrubbed little faces as they play this at some high school assembly. Seriously, this is very nice. The stop-start action and the aggro drums, and the guitar fun all add to the magic of this complete transformation.
Da Surfones - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Da Surfones softly emote this romantic oldie with guitar in the lead. Very pretty, as you might expect. Well within the band's sound, and quite enjoyable.
Susan and the SurfTones - Nina's Empty Glass
This is one happy song, with warm slides up to joyous chords and a romping rhythm track. Completely endearing, "Nina's Empty Glass" captures you and won't let go. Great for an ocean view drive on a summer's day.
Susan and the SurfTones - Moon Woman 42
On the edgy side, "Moon Woman 42" uses a little distortion and an adventurous melody line that's ever so slightly reminiscent of the Surf Trio. Nice track.
Susan and the SurfTones - Blondes In Cars
With an almost Ramones sense about the structure, "Blondes In Cars" is rhythmic and fluid. It's warmth and infectious nature are quite fine.
Susan and the SurfTones - West 30
"West 30" seems more about the thickness of its sound than a melody, not that it's non melodic, but rather the rhythm track seems most important. It has a kind of post punk garage feel, like the Blacklight Chameleons used to create, but also more surfable and fluid, and a little less angular.
Susan and the SurfTones - More
The theme from the film Mono Cane avoids the cheesiness of Kai Winding and Kenny Burrell's classic hit. Smooth and very enjoyable, this is a reverent cover in Susan and the SurfTones style.
Susan and the SurfTones - Leopard Spots
Twang and a quirky riff dominate the scene as Susan and the SurfTones have intricate fun with this circular song.
Susan and the SurfTones - Casper Reef
A warm feel from fifties pop rhythms, splashy played out chords, and a bit of whammy action... "Casper Reef" is a simple and strong track with an attractive sound. I like this a lot. It has an almost Micky and Sylvia feel to it.
Urban Surf Kings - Only You (And You Alone)
Slow sinewy percussion and unbelievably suave guitar take this doo-wop classic to a tropical island paradise. If Martin Denny had used guitar instead of vibes as lead instrument, he might have done it this way. Very nice!
Voodoo Court - (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me
Tiki Lounge (Instrumental)
One of NorCal's best kept secrets does a fine job with this, rolling it out with thundering underpinnings and crisp guitar. The band is merging a light guitar sound with the rumble and run ethics of a surf band rhythm section. Tribal and suave too.