Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Modern Surf Band Spotlightdotdotdotdot
artworkGolly Gee's combination Supertones tribute and band survey is finally out, and it's quite good, with a large cross section of bands and lot's of great tracks
Picks: Torque Wrench, Fooling Around Playa Del Rey, Media Nocturne, Last Ride, Side Slippin', Dr. Yes, Avanti, Flamenco Surf, The Wet Set, The Sweet Ride, Harbour Patrol, Ted's Twist, Sand Pumper, Moonshot Part 3, Wingnut, T-16, Did You Bring Your Brassknuckles, 00 1/2, Margarita Meltdown, Dented Fender, Rumble In The Stratosphere 2002, Happy In A cage, The Mild Bunch Rides Again, The Curse Of Pier 13, Estampeda, Vacalgada, El Duelo de Chiuauas, Bawunga Bob, Spanish Fly

Track by Track Review

Torque Wrench dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Supertones' "Torque Wrench" sounds bigger and faster under the power surge of the amazing Nebulas. Fast and over the top, with raging drums a la Hal Blaine. The damped verse is too cool. Exceptionally fine track with lots of pure surf and power.

Fooling Around Playa Del Rey dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a soft and wispy flight of island lagoon fantasy, with a speedy ska-backed break. It's reminiscent of the Halibuts' grin-centric splash, and is very attractive. "Fooling Around Playa Del Rey" is an excellent vacation to a surf paradise.

Media Nocturne dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a soft and vibrato rippling surf lagoon number with a tribal and exotic beat. Dramatic with mysterious adventure, it's striking like the the theme to Adventures in Paradise. Very nice!

Last Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Powerful tom toms drive this excellent track. Melody plus tribal drums and fluid bass equals a powerful and durable surf track. The Supertones' "Last Ride" is wonderfully infectious in a cool vein. Splash and a great beat. The added loungy lap steel gives this an amazing liquid island coolness!

Side Slippin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Diamondheads do a very nice cover of "Side Slippin'," using warm island tone. The melody is derived from "Blue Moon," but overall, this is an original and very pretty piece. Really nice.

Dr. Yes dotdotdot
Detective Spy (Instrumental)

Dry and angular, the Supertones' "Dr. Yes" is a little haunting and sports compressed drums. A detective instro with spy lines from the dry and raw side of the tracks.

Avanti dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Supertones' "Avanti" is ultra trashy, like the sound of a frat party down a long harsh hallway. Dark frat thrashy lo-fi ambient surf with more power than sound quality. A cool melody line and an amateur mix that strangles off the power of the track. The raw sax is very vintage surf, but buried in dreadful sound, it's of little help.

Flamenco Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Traditional surf for the breaking curl. This is a very nice track that sounds like it's right out of the South Bay sound with reverb. Excellent writing and a cool rhythmic sound. very satisfying. Nice track.

The Wet Set dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a new track from the Metalunas. Mark Brodie's' characteristic playing style abounds on the Supertones' "The Wet Set." A little moody and dangerous, it also sparkles with whammy and surf. Excellent!

The Sweet Ride dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is lo-fi and dark surf riffology attack on the Supertones' "The Sweet Ride." On the stiff side in some ways, yet promising stormy surf to come. Thick and fuzzy with whammy.

Harbour Patrol dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark punkoidal surf thrash writhes atop a great grinding bed of edgy sounds. Thick and pulsing, "Harbour Patrol" works well in this ultra heavy arrangement.

Ted's Twist dotdotdot
Dark Surf (Instrumental)

Whammy and surfabilly twang, with riff rockin' beach front intensity. Thick and gutty, with some solid writing. Off the beaten path, somewhere between surf and the Reventlos' sense of the absurd. "Ted's Twist" gets a twang treatment, with gutty guitar and stereo whammy. The song is not overly melodic, and the mix much too rock 'n' roll, yet TMSF carry it off. Quite cool.

Sand Pumper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Brainwashers play a splashy trad arrangement of "Sand Pumper" with an odd bass left, guitar right mix. Well executed, with a couple of great glissandoes and slither.

Moonshot Part 3 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicately rhythm driven with a haunting melody line, this is a fine piece of writing with an interesting riff. This is mixed in such a way that the power of its potential is not achieved.

Wingnut dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rockabilly maven Ralph Rebel fronts Bustin' Surfboards on a gutty delivery of a progression rocker that's way more jam than song. Aside from a few inspired guitar lines, "Wingnut" is just not interesting.

T-16 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chunky and brash, "T-16" sports a fine melody line and plenty of panache. Hard driving and open road adventurous, this fine track begs for replays. Heavy, yet optimistically bound for the next big wave. Very fine track!

Did You Bring Your Brassknuckles dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grumbly low-E double picked guitar rises to a glissando that gives way to a hard driving double picked raver. The melody line is on the tube screamer side, while being more delicate and splashy Spanish surf in the break. "Did You Bring Your Brassknuckles" sports a warm attractive sound and a sense of adventure.

00 1/2 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Screaming spy modes and harsh guitaristry, howling night time danger, and escapes across the Berlin wall. Very intense and loud.

Margarita Meltdown dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool track, with tribal drums and splashy Mexican airs. The melody line is really infectious, and over this rhythm section, it sparkles. Moody and exuberant, and dramatic too. An excellent piece of music.

Dented Fender dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dented Fender" displays many changes, with differing guitar dynamics, resulting in different tone, and changes in approach, coupled with great drums and a very interesting bass line make this stand out. Great glissandos and splashy surf power.

Rumble In The Stratosphere 2002 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A minimal tune with a rhythmic gentle backtrack, and Link Wray-like sparsely placed lead guitar notes. This works really well. It doesn't change much, but the vibrating shimmer is most endearing, and the happy melody worms it's way into your being. Very nice track.

Happy In A cage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Monsters From Mars launch into a thick riff rocker of angry proportions where fast double picked doom abounds. Not very melodic, perhaps like some Man or Astro-Man? instros.

The Mild Bunch Rides Again dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A murky mix somewhat hides a whammified surf epic that's fun, if not particularly inspired. The whammy chords are fine, and the arrangement solid. It's just the crappy sound that holds it back.

The Curse Of Pier 13 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the reverb crash, "The Curse Of Pier 13" is a surf shredder, with exuberant shouts from the band. Fire and double picked power surges, and a great surf riff.

Estampeda dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grindy rhythmic throbbing fuzz rage... heavy thunder and ice with solid drums and a very thick texture. Yikes!

Vacalgada dotdotdotdot
Thick Intense Surf (Instrumental)

The jaws harp adds a kind of inverted hickoidal ethic to this very thick track. "Vacalgada" moves at 80 mph down an open highway, with no lack of charm and power.

El Duelo de Chiuauas dotdotdot
Thick Intense Surf (Instrumental)

Dark surf 'n' spy danger in a gloomy setting, with interesting guitarisms and angular tone.

Bawunga Bob dotdotdot
Thick Intense Surf (Instrumental)

Choppy surf and open road groove are well suited to the Brainwashers as they romp through "Bawunga Bob." Tastefully rhythmic and edgy.

Spanish Fly dotdotdot
Thick Intense Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish themes in a thin arrangement portray black lace and banditos on a dusty afternoon. The sound is a little thin, and the bass annoying, but "Spanish Fly" still works as a track.