Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: More Lost Legends Of Surf Guitardotdotdotdot
artworkThis second volume extends the first one, gathering more fine tracks from the CD series.
Picks: Time Bomb, The Gremmie - Part I, Stick Shift, Yep, Volcanic Action, Walk, Don't Run '64, The Hearse, Hot Cinders, Scorpion, Heartbeat, Mariah, Surfbeat, Fall Out, Istanbul, Rum Runner, Moon Race, Wildfire, Strange Fever, Spin Out, Moon Shot, Spanish Moon, The Truant, Raw-Hide

Track by Track Review


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.

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.

Midnight Surfer dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

It's OK, but the generic surf standard thievery and the mediocre performance don't pull much weight. It's mostly a studio jam, not well thought out. Musta been written during a coffee break. It has that "let's put a glissando here, and a whammy there" feel to it.

The Gremmie - Part I dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the great singles. Part I launches into the riff and scene with great energy and fun. The beat is infectious, and the guitars raw. The single A-side is significantly different from the album version, as well as others that have appeared on comps, principally in the voices overdubbed.

Stick Shift dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Duals had a hit with this track. It was a fave among surf fans, even though it was not a surf song. What the Bellamy brothers lacked in surf attitude and sound is squarely implanted by the Trashmen. There's no doubt here that this is a perfect surf pounder. A melodic progression based tune with hot rod motors and delightful damped reverb lead lines. Previously unreleased from the November Kay Bank sessions. Totally cool.

Yep dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the other track culled from the "lost" Dot sessions. It's a tame rendition of a Duane Eddy song. Not lackluster exactly, but pretty pedestrian. Great reverb and adolescent surf fun.

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. "Volcanic Action" is a chunky reverb surf tune with the band in fine form. Quite surfy in the traditional sense, "Volcanic Action" conveys that driven Belairs rhythm section power. A fine performance, with a thundering bottom end despite the lack of a bass player. Full throated guitar from Eddie Bertrand, and fine support from the entire band. Very cool, especially in stereo.

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.

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.

Satan's Theme dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Unremarkable progression, a bit of double picking, some edgy 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.

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.

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. "(They Call The Wind) 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.

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.

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. Also issued as "Theme From Delvy McNort" by The Challengers.

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.

Wildfire 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.

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.

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.

Moon Shot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Moon Shot" is no where as interesting as their other tracks, and with the guitar buried so far in the mix, it's really a stretch to call this surf. A long pick slide and boing-boing electronics introduce this fundamentally piano lead number. It's unusual, and full of energy, but not great. The organ break is cheesy.

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.

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. "The Truant" has been covered a number of times. The whammy dip chords are really cool!

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.