Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Double Bumble
|Double Bumble comes without source information, so one might suspect it is a bootleg comp. While probably so, it's much better than many just from the consistent caliber of the selections and the sequencing. Sample here, then go buy the real deal.|
Picks: Walk, Don't Run, Run Don't Walk, Fiberglass Jungle, Slither, Third Star To The Left, Beyond The Third Star, Mar Gaya, El Fenderviche, Road Runnah, Buried Alive, The Quiet Surf, Sale's Melioration, Malaguena, I Wish I Was A Go Go Girl, Mr. Rebel, Mozipel Twist, Banzai Washout, Homercles, Miserlou, Misery Loves Company
Track by Track Review
Pre Surf (Instrumental)
This is essential. The Ventures were one of the two bands that served as the model for early surf bands, the other being the Fireballs. This was their first single, and is an absolute standard. It was based on the early fifties Chet Atkins arrangement. This is their signature tune, a solid and enduring cover of Johnny Smith's jazz classic. Rhythmic, solid as a rock, and very warm with presurf whammy. Only the Pink Fairies' vocal version is better than this. Great classic pre surf.
"Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia" were recorded a year before there was such a thing as surf music. Totally vintage and majorly important to the birth of surf, this Ventures single is still their hallmark and best effort. Every collection requires this track.
Using the "Walk, Don't Run" intro chords as a basis, this track is at once familiar and new. The new melody line is very good, leaves you humming. I would have preferred an electric piano to the organ, but otherwise, this is really nice. maybe more lead guitar presence would be a plus, but the overall effect of the track is quite superior.
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!
Slow and whammy dipped, this surf riff tune is reminiscent of the Surf Kings' version of the Crossfires' "Fiberglass Jungle." It is more surfy and less psych than that tune, but has the same kind of warmth and charm. Quite enjoyable.
Heavily influenced by the Ventures' "Journey To The Stars," this is a very strong track, with reverby space effects and a moderate melody line delivered with double picking and power. The mariachi horn section is a primal part of this band's prowess. Very cool track! Thundering drums and eerie tones.
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)
Based on / inspired by "Third Star To The Left," "Beyond The Third Star" has all of the solid thunder and experimental charm of the Nocturnes' tune, but with a new melody line and power drive. Guest on sax here is Jim Frias (Nocturnes). Powerful, stunning, and magnificent. It cross fades through space-fi sfx right into "Tsar Wars."
"Mar Gaya" is such a monster. Huge ominous sounding tune with a minimalist melody on the low-E that thunders across the aural horizon. Randy Holden is a genius! Must have essential surf. Simply the darkest surf single of 1965. Holden says that the inspiration for this masterpiece was Dick Dale's "The Victor," and you can hear it in the relentlessness of the hypnotic thunder, but "Mar Gaya" is infinitely larger.
Originally issued August, 1964.
"El Fenderviche" is very derivative of Randy Holden's "Mar Gaya," but that aside, "El Fenderviche" is a very fine track with abundant energy and charm. Round double picked lead lines sparkle and endear, and as we all know, the rhythm track to "Mar Gaya" is very powerful.
Hot Rod Surf (Instrumental)
This track rules! It's hot, "Pipeline" like, and fiery. It may be a bit obscure, but it's a great track! "Road Runnah" ended up on the London Records release of the Pyramids' album. It does not appear on the original Best Records release, and bears no similarity in playing or style to the Pyramids. OK, so that's not a slam, just a clarification.
Latin Surf (Instrumental)
Infectious surf in a trad vein, with infectious guitar work and solid rhythm. The great damped reverb midsection drips surf reverb. While the break is entirely original, "Buried Alive" is remarkably similar to the Road Runners' "Quasimodo." Excellent!
Pristine Perfect Surf (Instrumental)
This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. Entirely liquid and emotional. Every time I hear this track, it raises the hair on the back of my neck. Brilliant chords, lush tone, and a wonderful backtrack. It was originally known as "Samoa." This is simply stunning and shimmering, with rolling exotic tom-toms. The Mermen do this very well.
"Apache" drums and a melody very similar to Richie Podolor's "Quiet Surf." This may borrow from other works, but it's very good. Pretty and dramatic, tribal and ringing with wet guitar work. The fresh production makes this irresistible!
Flamenco Surf (Instrumental)
Ernesto Lacuona's great song, first turned into a surf classic by this Minneapolis band. It's a fiery infectious must-have track. Major energy and finesse. There is no finer flamenco surf than this. Infectious, rhythmic, powerful.
I Wish I Was A Go Go Girl
It's great to hear a fresh surf arrangement of "Malaguena." While it borrows from the Trashmen, the acoustic instro and rhythm dependence, plus the warmth and ultra dribble double picking give it a complete facelift. Excellent!
Eddie and the Showmen's third single was a tribute to KRLA DJ Reb Foster, who also owned the Revelaire Club, where Eddie Bertrand found themselves to be the house band for a while. This is an updated version. The band played without reverb at the show, so it has a bigger rock feel. Much more powerful than the original, but not as magical.
The beat and bass line from Eddie and the Showmen's "Mr. Rebel" launches this fine track, the rest of which is distant from the intro. Lots of reverb and a very good melody line. Glissandos and dribbling guitar lines.
Steve Douglas wrote this classic and plays the raging sax. Dick Dale later covered it. The melody is hot, the rhythm is driving, the drums inspired, and the whole thing rocks. The brilliant ringing tones and the speed are marvelous. One of the great singles. Billy Strange played the fiery lead.
Great drums and dirty guitar crunches a kind of optimistic downer. Like danger in flower lady's clothes, "Homercles" deceives you into a sense of safety when just over the rise is a pair of thugs waiting to relieve you of your longboard. Splashy, fun, and inventive.
The introductory note of Miserlou is somehow bigger than life. Dick's machine gun staccato is perfect. This is Dick Dale's biggest Del-tone singles, the incredibly archetypal "Miserlou" featured so prominently in Pulp Fiction. No comprehensive Surf collection should even be conceived without this song. This IS the sound of primal surf, the source of the idea of really LOUD guitar leads. It's reported that the arrangement was developed after Dick saw Johnny Barakat do it this way.
Obviously derived from "Miserlou," this track is nonetheless a fine surf romp. The slithery slow first verse is silky cool, and the double picked verses rock. "Misery Loves Company" is proof minor variations from the work of others can still be compelling. Quite powerful!