Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Guitar Mania Volume 15dotdotdot
artworkThis compilation of releases from the Rarity label is about 1/3 surf and 2/3 Shadows based. Very enjoyable for the most part, and a glimpse of many bands that do not have US distribution. I particularly like the Surf Rats and the Vickings. Being volume 15, I guess I have some catching up to do.
Picks: Dance On, Kon Tiki, Shindig, Mandschurian Beat, Johnny Guitar / La Comparsa, Surf Party, Banzai Washout, Rat Motor, Ajoen Ajoen, Bongo Blues #2, Atlantis, My Happiness, No Trespassing, Windy and Warm, Wipe Out, Samba Oelek, Ferry To Finland, Hot Rod, Mr. Moto, Penetration, Millennium Theme, Mustang, Return Of The Gladiators, Crunch, Lonesome Moonride, Angel On Your Shoulder

Track by Track Review


Dance On dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a spirited rockin' cover of the Shadows' "Dance On." Somewhere between the original and the Challengers' version, this is very good.

Kon Tiki dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Solid rock cover of the Shadows' tune. Big twang and long sustain via echo.

Shindig dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

A solid version of the Shadows' tune. Not particularly distinguished from the original. Bouncy and tuff.

Mandschurian Beat dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Long leaning sustain on the guitar and an eastern European melody line. Nice track, like a film score kinda thing.

Johnny Guitar / La Comparsa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The UK rock classic "Johnny Guitar" is merged with the sad and beautiful "La Comparsa" for a fresh sound and vision. Quite pretty.

Surf Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A solid reverent performance of this classic Astronauts track. Rich and rhythmic, with continuous energy.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a big chord power surge version of the Catalinas' "Banzai Washout." Fiery and whammy rich, the Surf Rats give it a different sound with rounder tone and ringing notes. Very cool!

Rat Motor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rat Motor" is a melodic moderately paced surf tune with a great feel to it. The rhythm track is a lot like "Penetration," but when merged with the lead and drums, it's quite different... unique actually.

Ajoen Ajoen dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rich surf tone and a Spanish surf theme with the kind of joy expressed in "Rik-A-Tik," but less bouncy. A very nice track.

Bongo Blues #2 dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

This is intensely driven and Shadows-like, without being derivative. Lots of energy and great drums. Very fun.

Atlantis dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

A delicate delivery in pure Shadows style of their melodic thematic piece. Nearly every version of "Atlantis" I've heard is good.

My Happiness dotdotdot
Island Surf (Instrumental)

This has a very Hawaiian feel to it, with deeply reverbed long chords and rolling drums. It's on the soft side, and certainly pretty.

No Trespassing dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mostly progressional, this cover of the Ventures' "No Trespassing," which is much like "Moovin' and Groovin'," is well played. The raw sound does not do justice to the band.

Windy and Warm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John D. Loudermilk's "Windy And Warm" is just so playful and fun. Despite the cruddy sound, this is a very fun track.

Wipe Out dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pedestrian cover of the Surfaris' first single. No one is ever going to do it better, so why try?

Samba Oelek dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pop Muzak smoothly played. A catchy melody line, but an unremarkable arrangement.

Ferry To Finland dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Shallow twang from a thin sounding guitar delivers a fluid melody with bounce and charm. Derivative, yet charming.

Hot Rod dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big guitar progression jammin' power drive reverbed twang. This is a little like some of the Evasions' tunes. Pretty fun, fast, and even a little cute.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting cover of the Belairs' definitive "Mr. Moto." While no one is going to surpass Paul Johnson's original take, this certainly is right up there with other fine covers. More than reverent, it employs lots of reverb and some nice little enhancements, plus some great glissandoes.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rock solid reverb drenched damped lead over a tuff rhythmic bead... this is a very cool more than reverent version of the Pyramids' classic "Penetration." Infectious for sure.

Millennium Theme dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

"Millennium Theme" is a beautiful MOR theme, played on richly toned guitar. Mid tempo and fluffy.

Mustang dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

Rolling drums and rich guitar twang out this melodic cowboy epic. The melody line has a nifty lilt to it, living somewhere between the Shadows and the American West.

Return Of The Gladiators dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Military drums, a tango feel, and a Shadows Spanish sound together in a pop structure. Very pretty, like the Challengers' "Guitar Tango."

Crunch dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big rock guitar driven blues based jammin' fun. The riff is nice enough, and it's infectious as well.

Lonesome Moonride dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Soft spoken and lush, "Lonesome Moonride" is sad and echoed in a Shadows style.

Angel On Your Shoulder dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

Vibratoed melodic and kinda cowboy, "Angel On Your Shoulder" is actually pretty cool. It's soft and simple, yet very nice too.