Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Psycho Beach Party [Soundtrack]dotdotdot
artworkWith tongue planted firmly in cheek, this film makes fun of and blends the weirdness of beach party and horror films. Who better to do the soundtrack than the great Ben Vaughn, whose own releases with the Ben Vaughn Combo and solo often dripped reverb, and whose TV theme work on Third Rock is nothing short of brilliant. Add to this bonus babies by Los Straitjackets, the Fathoms, the Halibuts, and others, and how can you resist. Two vocals grace the soundtrack as well. Man or Astro-MAN?'s "Mermaid Love" is a vocal with throb and drive, crunch and munch, minimal riffology, and glissando attack. Ben Vaughn's "P-S-Y-C-H-O (Psycho) End Title" is a too-fun beach party waffler, with cheerleader chants and lots of twang and "Wipe Out" mentality.
Picks: Main Title, Tailspin, Marvel Ann on the Prowl, Wrestle, Night Crawler, Chicket Meets Surfers, Neenie's Famous Weenies, Cha-Wow-Wow, Chicket Learns To Surf, Bombasteroid, Chicket Wipes Out, Mournful Surfers, Romantic Beach Scene, Kanaka's Shack, Overboard, Tempest

Track by Track Review

Main Title dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This big twango theme is a little like a Los Straitjackets tune, but with added organ and bongos. The guitar work is excellent, and the riff very cool. Only slightly cheesy, "Main Title" rocks with cool fun.

Tailspin dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the double picked intro slam, the track sucks you right in, as do most of their monsters. It is very fast, fun, high energy, and mostly a riff slammed into your subconscious, emphasized with major low-E double picked rage during the bridge.

Marvel Ann on the Prowl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Marvel Ann on the Prowl" is a growly lowbrow riff rocker with a surf beat and a nasty sax. The style is fifties menace, but the sound is much richer than that, and the whammy is swimmingly fine.

Wrestle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic bongos and saucy sax, a tribal beat and persuasive bass line... very cool, very short.

Night Crawler dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Semi pomp, quirky crawly, almost Adams Family bug like. The piano is too suave. This seems like a bachelor pad smoothy. The growly bass break is totally boss.

Chicket Meets Surfers dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gnarly surfisms abound in this low down tune. Moody bass, bongo enticement, and light guitar rhythms... a short scene setter for sure.

Neenie's Famous Weenies dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Los Straitjackets styled piece with no sense of hot dogs... The derivative fifties suave bits are a perfect vehicle for this sensual number.

Cha-Wow-Wow dotdot
Rockabilly Country (Instrumental)

Standard 50's instro fair in an Austin vein. Bouncy and fun, but not particularly remarkable.

Chicket Learns To Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thundering tom toms, crunchy Los Straitjackets feel, and great whammy. Melodic and highly rhythmic. While very short, I'd be surprised if Los Straitjackets don't add it to their set. A great track!

Bombasteroid dotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

This suave number is derivative of "Comin' Home Baby" in some ways, and yet separated by fashion. R&B sax and funky bar scenery.

Chicket Wipes Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again with great tom tom's, exotic bongos, and a growly Los Straitjackets style riff and punch, this seems like a great vehicle for lounge surfers. From the punchy opener, "Chicket Wipes Out" drifts into a silky sea shore laden mood piece that just oozes peaceful off season days at Pismo Beach.

Mournful Surfers dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and moody vibrato guitar, punchy snare drum, long leaning cords whammied out, and an airy sadness... at least until it doubles the beat and throbs the vibrato into a driving crunch.

Romantic Beach Scene dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Softly strolling vibrato, shimmering sands and moonlight, and ultra soothing sleeping puppy faces...

Kanaka's Shack dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The gong opens to vibes and bass and a wispy flute/whistle... short scene setter.

Overboard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked, angry guitar sound, and wet ambiances. The melody is good, and the rhythm is catchy.

Tempest dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tempest" is a fifties riff rock instro... lots of grind, not much melody. Fun, but I forgot it quickly enough. From their The Velvet Touch Of Los Straitjackets CD.