Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Lost Legends Of Surf Guitar 3dotdotdotdotdot
artworkMore amazing surf instros grace volume three of this fine series. Most notable are the Progressives, Thom Starr and the Galaxies, the Surfriders, and the Fabulous Playboys.
Picks: Cheater Stomp, Squad Car, Satan's Theme, Hot Cinders, Scorpion, Mr. Moto, Mariah, Surfbeat, Rampage, Istanbul, Fink, Rum Runner, Heatwave, Wild Fire, Strange Fever, Man Of Mystery, Volcanic Action, Moon Shot, Shortnin' Bread, Spanish Moon

Track by Track Review

Cheater Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John Blair didn't list this in his "Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965," and neither did Rich Hagensen in his phone book thick compendium of instrumentals. Heavy surf and plucky piano riffola. Very fun indeed.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson wrote this classic surf monster with the Belairs' in '62. Ex-Belair Eddie Bertrand had a hit with it with his band Eddie & the Showmen. This is much more rhythm dependent than the Orange County power drive of Eddie's version. The siren is created with a sax mouth piece. Excellent.

Satan's Theme dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Unremarkable progression, a bit of double picking, some edgie guitar, and not much else.

Hot Cinders dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stinging guitar intensely fires on all cylinders on this sometimes melody free power surf slam. Tuff rumbling Dick Dale-isms and double picked one note assaults! Great stuff!

Scorpion dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the great legendary bands of the old school, who's name I used to hear on ads for surf dances on KFWB and KRLA. This is a throaty Ventures kinda thing, rhythmic and churning. It has a decided surf feel, with an unusual melody and structure. Great track. The melody line is very close to "Super Jet Rumble." This was a single.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This previously unreleased track is a gem. It shows just how closely Thom Starr and the Galaxies studied the Belairs. While it's a little on the restrained side, that's likely a result of the session and not the band. An excellent performance.

Mariah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Lerner-Loewe classic show tune from Oklahoma lends itself to this near surf treatment because it is so melodic. Paul retained the moderate pace and sad feel for the first half, but mid-track, they double the speed and rage through a double picked arrangement, which descends to a snail's pace as it ends. "Mariah" lacks only reverb to be a surf killer! Fine infectious track.

Surfbeat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's "Surf Beat" is dry and rhythmic, with solid drums and great plinking piano. Pretty fun.

Rampage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Glenn Grey original, with stinging guitar notes, and a ton of echoplex. Energetic, throbbing, totally fun. This is the highlight of the original album. Glenn didn't write very many tracks for them, but the few he did write were quite good. His playing prowess seems mostly to show on his own compositions.

Istanbul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a paradoxical rendering of the classic "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Paradoxical because the pumped up energy and surf guitar rock hard, while the console organ is just too mall rat cheesy. High energy and an infectious beat, with no shortage of charm.

Fink dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Art Fisher tune is much more a progression than a melody. It's very fun, but not terribly interesting.

Rum Runner dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Journeymen song is groovily rung out. The catchy riff tweaks your interest, and the combo cuts it well. Lots of twang and tuff drums.

Heatwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another previously unreleased track from the illusive and legendary Thom Starr and the Galaxies. Cool double picked riffs and a great surf melody line in the style developed by Paul Johnson, but including elements of the Orange County Sound less reverb. A great track with ample spunk and coolness.

Wild Fire dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This single was the B-side of "Scorpion." The guitar string bending gives it a demented tone, almost as weird as the Pastel Six's "Bandito," but much richer and lower, and faster too. Quite a nice track.

Strange Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Strange Fever" is reminiscent of the Belairs, but is also an original composition in its own right. An interesting riff and rhythm-lead interplay, along with sax and a fine rhythm section render all of the essential elements for a great South Bay track.

Man Of Mystery dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a tepid cover of the Shadows' album track. It's unremarkable, though the sound is not very Shadows-like.

Volcanic Action dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is "Tidal Wave" from the Challengers' "Lloyd Thaxton Goes Surfing With..." LP under its other title "Volcanic Action." An Eddie Bertrand tune from his days with the Belairs. It has energy, and some edge. It is quite like the Belairs would do it. Mostly a simple progression with tinkly piano and stinging guitar solos. Cool. Great twang from Glenn Gray.

Moon Shot dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

A long pickslide and boing-boing electronics introduce this fundamentally piano lead surf number. It's unusual, but not great. The organ break is - well - yuk.

Shortnin' Bread dotdotdotdot
Surf Twango (Instrumental)

Heavy surf rhythm track with piano and a surf lead playing low-E twango. While its a cover of the old standard covered by a number of bands of the day, this take is particularly rippin'. Stompin' drums and great piano, along with that tuff surf rhythm. Very cool.

Spanish Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Spanish Moon" features a cute melody riff and a cat named Frankenstein bridge. Bouncy and fun, with a catchy riff and cool surf sound. The string swipes between lines adds flair. very nice track.