Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Diggin' For Gold
|Diggin' For Gold is the latest compilation from Double Crown. Some of this has been out before, some is new to release. A cool cross section of surf from all over the place!|
Picks: Giant, Hevenu Shalom Alechem, Sputniks Thema, Movin', Cor Steijn Rides The Wild, The Mysterious Mrs. Wong, Blue's Theme, The Final Ride, Sound Barrier, Hockey Night In Canada, Jack The Ripper, Freaks Of Nature, Heartbeat, Radar Range, Skela Shuffle, Downhill Madness, Ace 10, Gals Side B, Toronado, Mach One, Loralei
Track by Track Review
"Giant" is a very Euro instro with long echoed guitar lines an a rolling gate. Like a cross between the Shadows, the Atlantics, and the Norse guitar sound, it's an inviting track. Solid energy.
As you might expect from a Dutch band, the Sea Lions play loud and hard driving. "Shalom Alechem" is a traditional Jewish song, covered before in a surf format only by Meshugga Beach Party. The arrangement is quite different, with an emphasis on intensity and reverb everywhere.
Die Sputniks' "Sputniks Thema" is speedily pumped and shined, with grodie bass and rolling drums, and near liquid guitar. A fine cover.
Frat Surf (Instrumental)
Lee Hazelwood's rhythmic classic "Movin'" is arranged in a straight forward manor, and recorded in a murky wash of bass heavy rumble and relatively ambient drums. Sound quality aside, the Sleazy Surfers do a credible if mostly typical version of the song.
Cor Steijn Rides The Wild
Surf Rock (Instrumental)
The amazing Apemen can do no wrong. Through the mucky sound comes one of surfdom's hardest driving surfbands. "Cor Steijn Rides The Wild" races along with big chords and a genuine garage feel. More rock than surf stylistically, and featuring tortured guitar lines, big fuzz chords, and whirling organ mid-song, this is a tuff anthemic instrumental. The crowd is making huge appreciative noises.
A classic Japanese riff opens and carries the song. While it's derivative of the genre stereotype, it's also interesting and fresh. "Mysterious Mrs. Wong" is a fun lady to do the reverb hang with. The band was originally called Mr. Mumps Twang Gang. This demo has surfaced before.
Davie Allan's anthem always gets a nod from me. The harsh stereo guitars leaves a big hole in the aural middle where indistinct bass mumbles over some fine drums work that's mostly lost in the mix. This is a spirited and very fun performance. Remix please!
The final ride is a fine melody with twang and spunk, and delicate double picking that gives it an almost Italian holiday sound. Slithery glissandoes round out a warm and adventurous track. Very nice.
Engines rumble to a start and scream off into the distance providing an entre for the Daytonas to launch into "Sound Barrier." The guitar is a little thin guitar and the sound murky. A fine melody riff and lots of energy, with the feel of a single from the day less the high end. The mix is about as murky as it gets, like being under the stadium. The song has been around for many years. Always good to hear the Daytonas in instrumental mode.
The Metalunas play a great instro in lo-fi mono. A fine melody and a solid arrangement as always, this very surf instro is pleasing, but would be more so if recorded better. Solid playing, great writing... Mark Brodie is an original.
Link Rock (Instrumental)
This is an aggressive sustained performance of Link Wray's "Jack The Ripper." The organ whirling gives it a sense of innocent insanity while the guitar retains the piercing drive. The extreme vibrato verse is very appealing. This version has grown on me over time. Pretty cool.
Big whammy chords, racing drums and modern guitar tone slice through the night with a jagged razor's edge. The trumpet bridges are an interesting contrast to the main guitar riffs. Cool stuff.
The Avengers VI's great "Heartbeat" is not often covered. The always loud and reverb laden Krontjong Devils do a large back of the hall version of this cool obscuro. Rock solid and dripping full-track reverb, it's both murky and intense.
USK caught live in full force with "Radar Range" all reverbed out and intense. The live recording is a little oddly mixed, but the band's energy really comes through, as does their skill. It's a great song.
Speed Chicken plays a fun and rompin' country instro with an unchanging riff. A little too repetitious, but loaded with light hearted fun. Finger lickin', chicken pickin', red-checkered table cloth music for a Sunday outing.
Frat Surf (Instrumental)
"Downhill Madness" is an interesting instro with vibrato throb and "Mashi"-inspired organ swirls. The female narration lines add nothing to the song from a surf perspective, but with so much frat rock influence, it, along with the sampled intro and outro, work OK. An ultra murky recording awash in reverb and indiscreet sound.
A pinch of suave, some vibrato shimmer, a dose of quirk, and a dash of pepper... yes, it's kinda like that. Complex and mathematical, liquid and dangerous, and moody. "Ace 10" is an intriguing track.
Gals Side B
Lounge Rock (Vocal)
Aside from the interesting intro, "Gals Side B" is just a rock instro with a few glissandoes and a nod to the rock side of Southern Culture on the Skids. The long feedback is cool, almost haunting. The mix of sounds from lounge to feedback howl is interesting. The vocal is fun. Other than occasional glissandoes, there's no connection to surf I can detect.
The ever loud Apemen dust off their fine stomper "Toronado." Thicker than ever, and with exactly the intense energy you would expect from these Dutch madmen. Cool!
Dueling double picked guitars wail on the bridges in this fine track. Rich Mediterranean rhythms and a catchy melody line combine for a solid surf ride at high speed. An excellent track!
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)
"Loralei" is a slow song with a warm, slightly haunted sound. It flows slowly like a summer river, with swirling guitar and more imagery than melody. A soft mood for a warm daydream.