Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Lost Legends Of Surf Guitar 4dotdotdotdotdot
artworkVolume four in this wonderful series sports 20 more fine instrumentals, most on the obscure side. I'm so glad Sundazed is continuing the series. A vintage fan's must-have!
Picks: Shockwave, Heartbeat, Fall Out, The Truant, Raw-Hide, Volcanic Action, Verti-Go-Go, Moon Race, Chiflado, The Hearse, Beachbound, Walk, Don't Run '64, Scalping Party, Time Bomb, Sunset Surf, Moon Dawg, Spin Out, The Avenger's Stomp, Bedlam, Surfbuster

Track by Track Review


Shockwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool tune. The organ comes in notably late in it's first note, but the extended reverb kicks are too cool, and the reverb lead is quite nice. The melody is friendly and fun. This tune is infectious and seems to stay with you. It stands up to multiple listenings. The label was Golden State Recorders, a San Francisco based label run by the legendary Leo de gar Kulka. I don't know if they were locals or just came to the city to record.

Heartbeat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Heartbeat" is one of the great surf obscuros. It has a minor sadness, and a minimal melody that really works, backed by a cool walking backtrack, and great accents. Excellent whammy, and ringing tone. This is one of the essential surf tracks.

Fall Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This obscuro uses a pretty cool drum beat, and a basic chord progression to match, both of which are not the usual surf beat. The melody riff is classic combo surf. Infectious and very fun. "Fall Out" sports an explosion, which is a recording of a real atomic blast, and for which the tune is named.

The Truant dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the often mentioned obscuros. This progression based ripper features blinding pick action. It sports a major helping of high energy machine gun delivery.

Raw-Hide dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

This primitive rendition of Link Wray's "Raw-Hide" sports reverb and an early surf interpretation. While it's not too adventurous, except for the very cool drum solo, it may be the earliest surf treatment of this song.

Volcanic Action dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Richard Delvy produced track, with plenty of energy and urgency. A strong melody, and mean sound. A primal surf tune from an essential band that was there at the very beginning.

Verti-Go-Go dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Jan Davis is bridging surf and Davie Allan here, with a well played and entertaining track. There's warble in the guitar that gives "Verti-Go-Go" a spooky sound. Not really surf, either aurally or stylistically, but a fun track nonetheless.

Moon Race dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Moon Race" is very infectious, and sports great finger squeals on the guitar. It totally rocks and captures your surf imagination. Among the midwest obscuros, it's one of the essential tracks. A totally magical track. This stellar surf instro has amazingly good sound when you consider it was cut in an someone's attic.

Chiflado dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mirror image of the Belairs' version of this fine instro, and very well played. It's so close, it could easily be mistaken for an alternate take.

The Hearse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is magnificent. Al's interpretations of Lee's writing is amazing. He has a knack for slow pacing without a loss of power. Deep reverb and pure surf sounds. I have often wondered if this is how Lee Hazelwood intended "The Hearse" to sound, since he was a part of these sessions.

Beachbound dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with a whammy chord, this is a dry surf number, among the surfiest on the album. It's rhythm and riff orientation, accented by a wailin' sax break is prototypical surf single fare. A nice track. "Beachbound" was also released as "Ten Tons Of Wet" as by the Surf Riders on a Canadian label.

Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

A goofy nearly pick slide glissando opens into a credible version of the Ventures 1964 surf arrangement of Johnny Smith's classic. This track grows on you, in part because it's more surf garage than the Ventures, and because of the glissandos.

Scalping Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song is credited to Gordy Hastreiter, but is really a rompin' reverby reworking of the Wailers' "Shanghaied" is loaded with frat party yelling. This Midwest band has no relationship at all to the Hollywood Tornadoes or the London Tornados. They were on the Cuca label.

Time Bomb dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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.

Sunset Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Truants were a Redlands, California band. This single sports an intense throbbing vibratoed lead guitar playing a very slow and mean melody. This is like an evil version of the Viscounts without the sax. Dark, brooding, and down right cool.

Moon Dawg dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an almost gentle version of the Gamblers' "Moon Dawg." It illustrates the frequently employed engineer's credo of you play quiet and I make it loud. It's hard to imaging they actually played it this way. The chorus is kind cheesy, but despite all that, it rocks. The original label was Cuca 1145.

Spin Out dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Clearly 1961's "Spin Out" is pre-surf both date and stylistically, yet it's Cuca label origin is part of the foundation. Mostly riff rock, yet wonderfully simple and engaging.

The Avenger's Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This original number is something like several Midwest pre-surf epics. The guitar quickly picks a fine riff, and in the break, the organ floats a different mood. Damn cool!

Bedlam dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Delvy took this with him to the Challengers, and that was the only place it saw release until Paul Johnson's surf band the Packards cut it in 1980. Paul's writing is all over this tune. This early version is very charming and simply arranged. An excellent track.

Surfbuster dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Jan Davis's style was on the perimeter of surf often. This is like that, with reverb on the distortion and a more country riff than surf, yet a serviceable sound for a surf set. Quite fun.