Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Pulp Rock!dotdotdot
artworkThis is a reissue of the Playground / Macola CD from 1997. What I like about this CD is the unexpected range of the tracks, and the generally high caliber of the artists assembled here, especially considering that this CD spans 35 years if instros, and includes some seldom heard and never before legitimately issued rarities from master tapes. All in all, a great addition to your library. The liners have some good data about the tracks - not extensive, but interesting none the less.
Picks: Peter Gunn, Depth Charge 95, Outer Surf, LSD-25, Bad News, The Swag, Lazy, The Beat, Paradise Cove, Tioga, Earthshaker, Tension, Redondo Strand, Bikini Drag, Punkline, Pyramid Stomp, Jupiter C, Mustang, Street Action, Rumble

Track by Track Review

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn" has evolved only slightly over the years Dick has used it as an opener. He's in rare form here, playing it smoothly and with guts.

Depth Charge 95 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A special mix of the track used on the Fiberglass Rocket CD. Gutsy and great performance. John Blair's band was the first revival band. It's all his fault! Any time you get a chance to see them or buy their product, do it!

Outer Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Davie Allan is King Fuzz, and his sound is/has been at the pinnacle of biker rock and fuzz surf. This track is from his early eighties work with Chris Ashford, and was issued on a 12 inch ep. It's totally killer, and without a doubt, a great infectious listen. If you've never gotten into Davie's music, you've missed 35 years of incredible guitar work. He's one of the great unsung legends.

LSD-25 dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf Drug Instro (Instrumental)

The Gamblers were a studio band with Sandy Nelson, Elliott Ingbar (future Captain Beefheart, and Derry Weaver, who wrote their two tracks. The other side of this single is the oft-covered and remarkably powerful two chord monster "Moon Dawg." This side is probably the first rock track released named after a drug, and predates psychedelia by more than five years.

Bad News dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bad News" is a variation on "Church Key," as was also known as "Bird Bath." It's way faster, and much more frat-rock friendly. Highly spirited, and more demented than ever. Too fun!

The Swag dotdotdot
Fifties Instro (Instrumental)

Link cut many sides while on Swan, and most were not as grand as "Rumble" or "Jack The Ripper." This is a swingin' if uninspired tune from the Linkster.

Lazy dotdotdot
Guitar Sax Organ (Instrumental)

Guitar melody slowly shimmers as the organ counters and the sax cries for mercy.

The Beat dotdotdot
Fifties Instro (Instrumental)

For primitive rural American indie instros of the fifties, it's hard to beat the Rockin' R's. Still, this track is mostly a rhythm, and the fidelity of their work is not good. This does provide a glimpse into the realm of garage bands in the fifties in places like Idaho and North Dakota, and most notably the suburbs of Peoria, Illinois.

Paradise Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Men's rendering of "Paradise Cove" was the second recording for them. As the Expressos, they had recorded it as Wandering with Aki Aleong producing. They had renamed it "Extasy," but changed it to "Paradise Cove" to relate to the rising surf phenomenon. It's more basic than the familiar Lively Ones version, and truly primal and significant in it's seminal creation of the Polynesian rhythm cool lagoon variety of Surf. This is a must-have track for any collector.

Tioga dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frogmen recorded in what is now thought of as the traditional surf sound, with reverbed guitars, etc., and before either the Belairs or Dick Dale. This was their follow up to "Underwater" and was issued in '61. It is one of their more average sides.

Earthshaker dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

So, this is another single from the same label that launched the great Jody Reynolds ("Thunder" is a killer tack) and the Surfmen. Rare, but not earthshaking. "Earthshaker" uses a melody very similar to the rhythm guitar from Johnny and the Hurricanes "Beatnik Fly" ("Jimmy Crack Corn"), and relies on similar tonality to "Satan's Holiday." A nice track.

Tension dotdotdot
Instro (Instrumental)

A rare but unremarkable instro.

Redondo Strand dotdotdotdot
Instro (Instrumental)

Sandy was a major player among the studio musicians in LA. His drums are heard on many hits by many people, as well as on his on hits, beginning with "Teen Beat" in the late fifties. In the early eighties, he did some recording and issued an album with Mars Bonfire a.k.a. Dennis Edmonton on guitar. This track is a rhythmic thing that is pretty typical of the album. Long out of print, it's worth a listen for sure.

Bikini Drag dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

All of the recordings this LA band made are of lo technical quality, ambient lo fi. Their performances, on the other hand, are generally really good. This was a single, and is a great track.

Punkline dotdotdotdot
New Wave Surf (Instrumental)

Completely unrepresentative of any version of the Surfaris, this concept track was recorded in the early eighties and issued on Koinkidink Records as a single. Jim Pash's idea was to make something from a surf platform that might appeal more directly to the punks that were coming to their shows in droves. It's not punk at all, but rather new wave, with it's thin bass and synthesizer. Totally unique and fun!

Pyramid Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The obligatory self-named theme... most bands had one then... "Dick Dale Stomp," "Surfaris Stomp," etc. A much more rough and tumble track than "Penetration." Cool!

Jupiter C dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Germany's studio surfers play a very reverent brand of surf. This track is from their first album, available on vinyl only. They are a very good studio band. "Jupiter C" is a fifties rockabilly stroll kinda tune, with lots of track reverb and tape delay. Interesting in a progression kinda way.

Mustang dotdotdot
Fifties Instro (Instrumental)

Another average Link Wray track.

Street Action dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

and again...

Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

King Fuzz does killer Link Wray! Nuff said!