Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
|A gnarly collection of lesser vintage surf tracks. Too many vocals, but an ample selection of great instros too. Highlights are tracks from The Bel-Aires, The Toads, The Roemans, The Dimenshuns, The Torquetts, The Avengers VI, The Safaris (not misspelled - studio band with Pat & Lolly Vegas), Gene Gray & His Stingrays, The Trademarks, and The Titans. A solid addition to the library. From Vinyl. |
Picks: The Avengers VI - Time Bomb, The Bel-Aires - Baggies, The Diminshuns - Slippery When Wet, Gene Gray and his Stingrays - Surf Bunny, The Irridescents - Swamp Surfer, The Roemans - Miserlou, The Safaris - Kick Out, The Titans - Reveille Rock, The Toads - Morpheus, The Torquetts - Side Swiped, The Trademarks - Baha Reebah (Part 1)
Track by Track Review
The Avengers VI - Time Bomb
This is a splendid original, with drum fury and a magnetic melody line that is quite sad. The organ and guitar trade roles from verse to verse. Minimal, but really cool.
Dry Surf (Instrumental)
B-side of the only Bel-Aires single on Lucky Token Records, the label also shared by the Crossfires. Quite rhythmic with a dry sound, it's an odd melodic twist on "Surf Beat" with little in common. You'll get when you hear it. "Baggies" is a splendid song. The guitar is both intense and subtle. The twang is absolute, and the rhythm is very powerful. Like the A-side, it's a track that desperately needs to come out of the vaults from the tapes.
The Diminshuns - Slippery When Wet
"Walk, Don't Run" backing up a single lead line. Rare, but not particularly original. It has an innocent charm like many minor surf tunes. Lots of trite guitar lines. There are a large number of riffs from traditional songs inserted throughout that make it endearing.
Gene Gray and his Stingrays - Surf Bunny
"Surf Bunny" is one of the great surf obscuros, full of raw power, spirited vocal eruptions from Gene, and a really grungy sound. This record has been on my top 20 list since it's release in '63.
The Irridescents - Swamp Surfer
"Swamp Surfer" is a low key thing with some tasteful guitar twang. It's pace is lazy for surf, fast for swamp. The melody riff is easy going and the whammy chords all island surfy.
Bob Moore And The Temps - Trophy Run
Hot Rod (Instrumental)
"Trophy Run" is only moderately interesting. Virtually nothing Bob Moore did held up to his great almost Herb Alpert version of Mexico. Also release as Bob Moore and his Orchestra. The guitar is pretty intense at times, and the drums rock.
Pat and the Californians - Be Billy
Give me a break!
The Pygmies - Don't Monkey With Tarzan
Garage Rock (Instrumental)
Vibrato, but no surf. It has a wailin' fifties sax and plunky piano and stupid Tarzan yells. History, but no inspiration.
Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)
A 1967 B-side, edgy and fuzzy, not surfy. Good energy, and unusual mostly for its late appearance.
Strongly influenced by the Surfaris' "Wipe Out," this track is infectious and tight, and driven pretty hard. While structurally derivative, "Kick Out" is a way fun surf obscuro worth searching out.
Leon Smith and the Basics - Basic Surf
This almost instro is just a riff with vocal inner city yuk. A surf name and reverb on the track does not surf make.
Garage Pop (Instrumental)
The Spats were a great garage-pop band. Their magnificent "She Done Moved" single is still a fave on my turntable.
The Stingrays - One Mo Gin
Garage Surf Rock (Instrumental)
"Moon Dawg," only slightly interesting. Awful mix with the lead guitar lost in the back. Could have been pretty cool if it were recorded better. The energy is there.
The Street Cleaners - Garbage City
A screamed out intro, and low down growl, but no surf.
The Titans - Reveille Rock
Dry Midwest Surf (Instrumental)
The Titans were a Midwest instro band, with a pretty dry sound. Not a surf band, but this is so cool, it doesn't matter. Only the reverb is missing to make it surf. Unlike Johnny and the Hurricanes, this is sans organ and shreds even harder!
An amazingly simple track that holds your attention despite the simplicity. Great wet guitars, and quite the obscuro.
The Torquetts - Side Swiped
Soft and very cool number with lots of shimmer and endearing riffs. Obscure and a nifty find.
The Trademarks - Baha Reebah (Part 1)
Mariachi Surf (Instrumental)
Magnificent blend of Mariachi and surf, so natural, and such energy. Total fun, and incredibly infectious.