Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Brandonio's Fright Festdotdotdot
artworkLikely just a web comp (bootleg, some tracks from vinyl sources with pops and clicks included), Brandonio's Fright Fest does slice through a broad spectrum of surf related material that's on the dark side.
Picks: Eddie Angel's Guitar Party - Werewolf, B. Brock and his Vibratos - Fright, The Coffin Daggers - Monsters From The ID, Destination Earth - The Mummy Factory, The Fathoms - Haunted Beach, Fifty Foot Combo - It's Alive, The Finks - Road Kill, Henry Mancini - The Monster Gets his Mark, Man Or Astro-MAN - Creature From The Surfers Lagoon, Messer Chups - Mobile Coffin, The Pastel Six - Strange Ghost, Psychocharger - The Flesheaters, The Saboteurs - Into The Shadows, Satan's Pilgrims - Haunted House, The Tiki Tones - Night Of The Tikis, The Ventures - Vamp Camp, Eerie Von - Nightmare, The Woggles - Zombie Stomp, Link Wray and his Raymen - The Shadow Knows

Track by Track Review


Eddie Angel's Guitar Party - Werewolf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frantics did this, the Bottleups covered it, as did the Ventures (under the title "The Fourth Dimension"). Eddie and company have added a nifty hook in the rhythm guitar, and the over effect when combined with the even more evil werewolf howls is a leaner meaner track.

B. Brock and his Vibratos - Fright dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed evil dark period surf. This is a really cool tune, with reverbed vibratoed lead guitar, and a menacing sound. Reverb kicks and occasional female screams punctuate the track, which relies heavily on the sound rather than a melody. Quite effective, and very suave.

The Coffin Daggers - Monsters From The ID dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a slow and tortured graveyard version of "Church key," this is a plodding and ghoulish track with a real monsters on the loose feeling, in the fifties b-movie way.

Destination Earth - The Mummy Factory dotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

"The Mummy Factory" is a slow moving ominous piece of music with a slightly goofy edge via its faux drama. This very fun track is like a parody of soundtrack stuff with grinning charm.

The Fathoms - Haunted Beach dotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and haunted exotica guitars are more weird than cool. It's a lot like The Ventures' "He Never Came Back" in tweakiness.

Fifty Foot Combo - It's Alive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Introduced by a borrowed bit from a black and white horror film, this quickly breaks into raging surf, pure and edgy. The melody is in the tradition of the vintage era, simple format, with a ton of energy. More power than melody, more spunk than subtlety.

The Finks - Road Kill dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The haunting organ and exotic percussion support a limited riff that relies on whammy and shimmer. It's a cool idea, but some of the organ lines are too loud and get in the way.

Henry Mancini - The Monster Gets his Mark dotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

"The Monster Gets his Mark" is a short soundtrack bit with full orchestra.

Man Or Astro-MAN - Creature From The Surfers Lagoon dotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

This is a trashy number with mostly a progression that includes vinyl noise to prove its bootleg origin. Dismissible.

Messer Chups - Mobile Coffin dotdotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

Always demented and creative, Messer Chups throb tremolo horror in "Mobile Coffin." It's a flippant horror rocker with surfable charm and a grin. Very cool!

The Pastel Six - Strange Ghost dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Strange is right. Organ based, honky sax, quirky melody. It should be a postmodern lounge hit. It also has a similar sense to the Preps' "Moon Racers" were it morphed to keys and sax. Ominous and cool.

Psychocharger - The Flesheaters dotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

Heavy and harsh machine surf with precision timing and great drums. The melody riff is interesting in a dark industrial way. Oddly compelling, "The Flesheaters" garners your affection as it unravels. Sequenced for danger.

The Saboteurs - Into The Shadows dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sampled snippet intros this track. The ambiance is dark and dangerous, moody and uneasy. The melody is solid, and the effect is powerful. The string swipes add a dangerous edge to an already threatening situation. Very good.

Satan's Pilgrims - Haunted House dotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

A reverb crash opens this dark, tremolo throbbed riff rocker. While pretty minimal, "Haunted House" has a healthy does of ominosity. Simple and effective stomp magic.

The Tiki Tones - Night Of The Tikis dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sometimes I like this band, other times I don't. Their guitar oriented material is more interesting to me. This is an organ lead track, with a chunky distorted and reverbed guitar carrying a relentless line. It seems to be mostly a dark mood setter, but not much of a melody. It does sport fun tribal grunts and lots of chunk.

The Ventures - Vamp Camp dotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

This is a very minimalist number, little more than a progression with the tone used in "Damaged Goods," but at a much slower pace. "Vamp Camp" is kinda cool, but not particularly memorable.

Eerie Von - Nightmare dotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

This is a piano solo with reverb, occasional horns, and screaming. Odd, but forgettable.

The Woggles - Zombie Stomp dotdotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

Dark and dungeon reverbed, "Zombie Stomp" becomes a fast riff rocker with frat rockish melody line that has one foot in the surf. Great drums, though.

Link Wray and his Raymen - The Shadow Knows dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Opening with the classic instro lines from the old time radio show, this dark brooding Rumble like number uses big ringing chords, sustained and distorted, and a thundering tribal backtrack, with evil laughs interspersed. A very slow pained and evil number. The lumbering pace gives it more darkness, as do the rhythm sections relentless runway grind. Quite nice.