Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Jesus Christ Surferstardotdotdotdot
artworkWhat a cool concept! Andrew Lloyd Webber's controversial rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar goes to the beach - mostly. 21 instrumentals and a handful of interesting vocals. Most of the instros are surf. The whole package is well done. Vocal tracks on this amazing CD include a delightful faux-pomp performance of "Strange Things Mystifying" by Prawns With Horns, the traditional surf backtracked "Simon Zealotas" from Pipelines, the heavy garage fuzz and organ pound of Babyshaker's "Damned For All Time / Blood Money," the dry edged power of "The Arrest" from the HiFi Ramblers, and the Texas heavy fuzz of Johnny Vortex's "Juda's Death."
Picks: Overture, Heaven On Their Minds, What's The Buzz, Then We Are Decided, Everything's Alright, This Jesus Must Die, Hosanna, Poor Jerusalem, Pilates Dream, The Temple, I Don't Know How To Love Him, The Last Supper, Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say), Peter's Denial, Pilate and Christ, King Herod's Sons, Could He Start Again, Please, Trial Before Pibate, Superstar, Crucifixion, John Nineteen Forty One

Track by Track Review

Overture dotdotdotdot
Art Surf (Instrumental)

Rising slowly, an orchestral-electronic scene softly brings forth Daikaiju's amazing and full bodied sci-fi interpretation of the "Overture" to the Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera. Throbbing deep rhythms and thick textured heralding builds to a higher and higher powered dark and dangerous wash of sound. major drama and impending doom are everywhere. Then, like a new spring dawn, the main JCS riff announces better days, only to be felled by the anti-crescendo of the deep space wash of this track's closing. Completely inspired!

Heaven On Their Minds dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The great bass line to "Heaven On Their Minds" runs dramatically under vibrato throbbing long rhythm notes against crisp lead guitar, while the drums play a flippant military beat. The rhythm guitar changes sides left-to-right from time to tine, adding to the spatial fullness of the track. The damped reverb verses are particularly cool, and the closing very spooky.

What's The Buzz dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Bo Diddley beat and vibrato throb pump beneath the churchy organ lead of "What's The Buzz." Dutch rockers the Waistcoats do quite a number on this song, reshaping into a quintessential garage rocker, almost as if they wrote it. Nice job!

Then We Are Decided dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Breakfastime do a psychedelic surf wall of thick sound with wah wah and glissandoes, creating a dark and spooky throwback sound that harkens from the back of Eagles Auditorium during Blue Cheer's performance. "Then We Are Decided" echoes with large hall acoustics and dramatic heaviness.

Everything's Alright dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a delightful take! Susan and the SurfTones pay homage to the intent of "Everything's Alright" with a pristine and respectful performance. The organ adds a religious edge while Susan Yasinski's guitar sings of rock 'n' roll, and the gentle bass brings body. A fine and well metered performance.

This Jesus Must Die dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With Hammer Horror inflections over the introduction, the Atomic Mosquitos launch into a spirited and slightly dark interpretation of "This Jesus Must Die" that sports reverb crashes and relatively traditional sound, buffered by modern production. It's a fluid track, with great drum work and a solid cohesive performance from everyone. Very cool!

Hosanna dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums bring forth the almost Christmassy edge to this melodic and dramatic song. The slow verses ooze big almost Klezmer edge as they separate sparkling surf verses. "Hosanna" is not just inspired and attractive, it captures your heart. Great track.

Poor Jerusalem dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Poor Jerusalem" is dramatic and fluid, with damped reverb and surf splash, and fun percussion. On the light side, yet a little moody, and with great little tid bits of arrangement everywhere, the Lava Rats do wonders with this fine song.

Pilates Dream dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More on the surf side than many of 3 Piece Suit's amazing recordings, "Pilates Dream" is bouncy and surfy with a tribal edge. Ska chords and energy run rampant throughout this interesting track. Big grins here!

The Temple dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ward 69 traditional surf based sound sets off "The Temple" as if it really is a surf song. Great damped reverb, grumbly bass, inspired drums, and rich surf leads. Big drama, stereo laughter, and shifting drama unfolding as the song progresses. A fine track!

I Don't Know How To Love Him dotdotdot
Machine (Instrumental)

The mechanized sound of Crime Factor Zero throbs with in-sync vibrato and a pulsing future shock edge and warble. Occasional big boom percussion adds a sense of industry, and the tweaky Theremin warbles make it cheesy sci-fi. "I Don't Know How To Love Him" grows on you!

The Last Supper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Hypnotic IV lay out "The Last Supper" in a soft island wash of vacation sounds until "the needle skips" and they launch into their signature two guitar high precision percussion linked delivery. Drum sync'd glissandoes and pounding trad surf energy. Very nice!

Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Da Surfones play a watery refined "Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)" with delicacy and charm. The soft double picking is quite Mediterranean, adding a sense of the place. Very nice arrangement.

Peter's Denial dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fabulous Planktones play a sultry and moody arrangement of "Peter's Denial." It's quite pretty, and with the banjo, it has a folksy feel that adds to the emotional content. This is quite a pretty track, with a very pleasing sound.

Pilate and Christ dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The electro surf rush of the Capacitors is well applied to "Pilate and Christ," with orchestral keys and throbbing chop chord rhythms. Modern and a little quirky, the track is a interesting way to interpret the song, and makes for a great listening experience. The carnival keys ending verse is really cute.

King Herod's Sons dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the lilt of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," Susan and the SurfTones lay a liquid gild on "King Herod's Sons." It laughs while you listen, bringing a grin to your ugly mug. Very nice.

Could He Start Again, Please dotdotdotdotdot
Deep Woods (Instrumental)

Bottleneck and acoustic guitars provide a soft deep woods arrangement of "Could He Start Again, Please" that reminds me a little of Mordacai Jones. The lightness and moonshine edge of this track are irresistible.

Trial Before Pibate dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Supertones play a pleasant interpretation of "Trial Before Pibate." very surfable, and one the dramatic side, it builds gradually up the scale. A solid drum break brings on a double picked dramatic verse with a bit of tweakiness. Nice track.

Superstar dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Now, this is big, but what else would you expect from Australia's Atlantics! Disco beat, huge guitar, and lots of power! Completely tuff and fun, "Superstar" is a rock anthem for sure, and when they drop into the signature melody line, well, all bets are off! Magnificent!

Crucifixion dotdotdotdotdot
Soundscape (Instrumental)

Holland's Longhorn Devils play a demented and thick thunder of soundscape. Huge, haunting, downright scary, "Crucifixion" is an amazing movie for your ears, a space adventure. Great stuff!

John Nineteen Forty One dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Aqualads make nice with a trad rendition of "John Nineteen Forty One." The rhythm guitar and bass synchronization are particularly cool here, and when added to the drums, support the fine lead guitar to great effect. A splendid arrangement!