Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: NPR's International Beach Ball Vol 1dotdotdotdot
artwork'94 German compilation of surf bands from all over the world. Most are vault tracks for these bands, but many are so rare, it doesn't matter. 26 tracks not imported. Bands: Jon & the Night Riders, the Cruncher, the Looney Tunes, Jerry MacNeish, the Surfdusters, Surfzone, the Boardwalkers, the Insect Surfers, and Surf Trek. This is one totally killer CD. There are few dogs in the set. A must buy!
Picks: Stampede, Bat Man / Wipe Out, Sunrise Surf, Surf Dawn, Let's Go Trippin', Psychotronic, Eclipse, Wave Walk'n', Badlands, Don't Back Down / Wet Spot, Bombora, Theme From "Sheena", Surf Crazee, Charge Of The Nightriders, Echo Beach, Point Conception '63, Mojave, Rumble At Waikiki, Wind Up, Polaris, Laguna Beach, The Deep, Surf Party, Crash, Blue's Theme, Skinny Dip, Changing Tides, Geronimo

Track by Track Review

Stampede dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This rockabilly standard, originally done by the Scarlets in 1959, has been recorded plenty as of late, but this is the first time it was surfed up. This rendering is simply superb! Wonderful percussive energy!

Bat Man / Wipe Out dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a thin merger of the Neil Hefty TV theme and the Surfaris classic, a blending that has been done many times, first by San Jose's Shockwaves. Nothing special.

Sunrise Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Over reverbed production, but a splendid melody and excellent Spanish feel. It's sad and pretty, and drips an early morning coastal drive. This track shows off the prowess of this German band despite the limited production.

Surf Dawn dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Murky riff rockin' instrumental fare, with a pretty surfy basis. It's happy and playful, and in spots brilliantly written by Paul Keyes.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jerry MacNeish delivers a standard arrangement of Dick Dale's first instro single, though he adds the reverb that had not yet been invented when Dick cut "Let's Go Trippin'" in 1961. Nothing special.

Psychotronic dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a Mike Maxfield tune, not like "Cruel Sea," but more like a country backtrack. It's a riff a,d a bunch of country twang, and a rolling down the highway good time pleaser. Dedicated to B-movies everywhere, "Psychotronic" features the signature Insect dual leads over fine chunky rhythms. The trashiness of the black and whites is self-evident in this fine track.

Eclipse dot
Metal Guitar Hero (Instrumental)

Thick, guitar hero metal riffs, waiting for a song to arrive on scene. No more than a riff, and over indulged stylized string bending.

Wave Walk'n' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Smooth trad surf, with organ added. This is a melodic and warm track, with the kind of draw that brings you back for more.

Badlands dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Over reverbed track production and reliance on big hall sound to create the illusion of loud. The melody here is mostly a riff, with strong chord support. "Badlands" actually holds up pretty well over time. The glisandos are smooth and slithery, and the break very moody.

Don't Back Down / Wet Spot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is classic Beach Boys surf raver, with a lead guitar instead of syrupy vocals, merged with their own "Wet Spot." The Halibuts are the longest continuous playing instrumental surf band. Their music is way fun and infectious. Tribal, thumpy, party fun.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bombora" are covering the Original Surfaris' most familiar tune. The arrangement is straight, except for the fuzz verses, which I think detract from the end product. The Boardwalkers have long suffered from ambient recordings that hide their prowess.

Theme From "Sheena" dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sinewy, delicately picked, magically spatial. This is a very melodic track, fluidly smooth, and quite pretty. Great for the back seat jam.

Surf Crazee dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a Mike Maxfield tune, not like "Cruel Sea," but more like a country backtrack. It's a riff and a bunch of country twang, and a rolling down the highway good time pleaser.

Charge Of The Nightriders dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's been done before, but never pulled off. Great surfization of the "William Tell Overture" from 1982.

Echo Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Echo Beach" slowly fades in to become a fifties style instro with too much reverb. Mostly chord progression and jam licks.

Point Conception '63 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an exceptionally good track. Better than nearly all other Surf Raider songs (IMHO), this employs a moderate pace and great dribbling glissandoes. It is melodic and very surfy. The enduring power of the track testifies to it's strength. I've been drawn to it since first hearing it in the early eighties.

Mojave dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the most spectacular middle eastern surf tracks around. It hollers Bouzoukis and belly dancers, yet it also displays ample southwest desert edge and mystery. A highly energetic, melodic, and absolutely infectious track.

Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fairly lightweight rendering of the Jon & the Nightriders powerhouse tune. It's well played, just restrained.

Wind Up dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Wind Up" is a fifties sorta riff rocker, with a simple progression. The sound is ambient murky, but the guitar tone is like Jim Masoner's in the breaks.

Polaris dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is one perfect instro. The melody line features the kind of hooks that stay with you, the arrangement is nearly magical, and the imagery is stunning. This is a mid tempo beautifully written and played tune with subtle drama and picturesque guitar tones.

Laguna Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Laguna Beach" is a playful, almost childlike thing, with soft carnival backing and distant lead guitar. Not very melodic, more an atmospheric scene setter.

The Deep dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow and sluggish low-E Euro thing with some interest, but nothing special. Little surf about it. Pretty repetitious.

Surf Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Cruncher provide a sparkling rendition of the Astronauts' film score. It's pure, correct, and well played. The damped reverb is gorgeous.

Crash dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Creations' originally recorded this. This version is pretty true to the original, well played and pristinely picked. Not a lot of energy, but excellent surf sounds.

Blue's Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Deep reverb low-E surf rage cover of Davie Allan's signature tune. Fast and furious.

Skinny Dip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

High spirited surf instro, so spunky that Agent Orange issued a cover on a single a few years back. The melody is pure vintage surf, while the speed is faster and the sound is lighter. Great infectious stomp master track. Recorded on 8/28/86

Changing Tides dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a Ventures' tune, played with warmth and shimmer. The ambiance is distant reverby, and the effect is stunning. Excellent and simple.

Geronimo dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the great modern Indian riff based surf tracks. A J&NR standard! What a great track this is - entirely infectious, and not the usual trite Indian theme stuff, but still readily recognizable as within that genre. Totally great!