Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Lost In The 60's (Mutant Surf Classics)dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a splendid collection of Australian surfbands of the last two decades. One of the great inclusions here is Walk The Plank from GT Stringer, as well as just about the only daylight from several of these bands. Recommended.
Picks: The Atlantics - Surf's Up, Freakout, The Crusaders - One Eyed Bikini Monster, Fez Perez - Gamma Wray, GT Stringer - Gasser, Walk The Plank, Dom Mariani and the Majestic Kelp - Roulette, The Neptunes - Endless Summer, Novahodads - Kahanamoku Kick, The Porkers - Bombora, The Raouls - Night Surfer, The Riptides - Shake It, Safari Season - The Beach (revisited), The Beach, Thurston Howlers - Trigger Mortis, The Wetsuits - Safari-So-Good

Track by Track Review


The Atlantics - Surf's Up dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In some ways in the early style of this band, and in others right in the surf pocket. This ringing joyous reverb number oozes the watery sport. Rhythmic and rolling, it's perfect for a topdown afternoon cruise down 101. Very fine.

The Atlantics - Freakout dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid tribal drums, twangy surfy guitar, solid thunder, and a playful sense of jungle ceremonial dancing and a "Wipe Out" arrangement. Cool track.

The Crusaders - One Eyed Bikini Monster dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Crusaders drive this traditionally structured surf bomber with heavy garage oomph. Intense distortion, dark fuzz, booming bass, and power drums. Loud and grating and obnoxious, as any self respecting garage surf track must be.

Fez Perez - Gamma Wray dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Gamma Wray" verges on rock, and sports heavy muted chords and big rock guitar edge. This is a strong track with two guitars chomping at your door. Intense double picking and glissandos. Whoa!

GT Stringer - Gasser dotdotdot
Surf Jazz Funk Rod (Instrumental)

The motors wind up at the starting line, the announcer yells out some important info, and then the band starts to play as the rods leave the line. It's a cool song with guitars and sax balanced. Simple can be boring and repetitious, or interesting, in large part separated by the playing and whimsy of the artist. This works well. The Hammond is great too. I could have done without the shouts and stuff, but they don't really detract, so...

GT Stringer - Walk The Plank dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is IT! This tune was an afterthought, like "Wipe Out." The band had a few minutes of time remaining in the studio, and they just jammed. It wasn't "written" or "conceived." It just happened in real time, in one take, completely un-augmented. It turns out to be the most interesting and powerful track on the disc. It resides halfway between the Mermen and jazz, with really cool baritone sax tones and feedback. melodic, moody, and powerful! The vibrato shimmers and the sax groans. The false ending precedes a mess glorious feedback followed by thirty seconds of shorebreak.

Dom Mariani and the Majestic Kelp - Roulette dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Intense whammy, glissandos, big twang... "Roulette" is adjacent to the surf idiom in the same way the Austin sound is. The angularity of the whammy is quite attractive. It's a fresh sound.

The Neptunes - Endless Summer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fading in from an echoed cove, The Neptunes have completely reinvented "Endless Summer." In fact, it's a completely new song that merely has an updated feeling of the classic. The lead shines at times, and the acoustic rhythms are attractive in a not quite gentle way. Quite nice.

Novahodads - Kahanamoku Kick dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A glissando syncopated with the drums opens to a semi-gentle track with a summery melody and tribal drums. The rough glisses are really cool. While this is not a heavy surf track, it sports more power and danger than many in its neighborhood. Really nice!

The Porkers - Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is totally cool. Deep bass, ska beat, effected rock guitar lead, truck horns, and many of the original guitar tweakery included. Not as intense, but very cool!

The Raouls - Night Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big whammy chords warn of danger in the surf. dark low-E guitar verses and damped delicate verses provide scenic variations that keep "Night Surfer" interesting. Mid tempo fluid and a little sad.

The Riptides - Shake It dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a heavily textured track with an attractive rhythm and garage, or maybe even frat feel. Intensely compressed and spunky, with a simple frat structure.

Safari Season - The Beach (revisited) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Longer than the opening track, "The Beach (revisited)" is equally haunting and aquatic. Beautiful and sad, and perhaps longing for a better day tomorrow. It's amazing how powerful such a soft solo guitar track can be. The melody is shallow and more about the imagery of the sea below, yet very attractive and satisfying.

Safari Season - The Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow soft echoed guitar notes introduce us to "The Beach." This guitar solo is haunting and moody, with beautiful tone and imagery. The seagulls cry in the background. It serves as an introduction to "The Sound Of The Sun."

Thurston Howlers - Trigger Mortis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark reverb, siren-like howls of danger, angry tone, and big drums. "Trigger Mortis" is a splendid adventure in the dark side of surf. Close your eyes and you can see heavy rain, turbulent surf, and a rider just about ready to be scraped along the rocks. Superb!

The Wetsuits - Safari-So-Good dotdotdotdot
Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

The delicate damped rhythm guitar supports the friendly lead as it splashes carefree sunsets and excursions to the far away secret spots of the world. Infectious and fluid.