Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Rare Surf Volume 5: The Capitol Mastersdotdotdot
artworkThis is an interesting vault purge, with first time stereo from the Vulcanes, and first time from tape for the Genteels, plus the Piltdown Men, Digger Revell and the Denvermen, and Arthur Lee and the L.A.G.'s, adding up to 14 instros. The other 16 tracks are vocals, most less familiar. The vocal artists include the Honeys, Brian Lord and the Midnighters), the City Surfers(Jim McGuinn and Bobby Darin), early Bobby Pickett before the Boris was added, a beach attempt for the Four Preps, a pair of beachy Wayne Newton tracks, some Vulcanes vocals, Bob and Bobby, and the Invaders.
Picks: Beach Party, Take It Off, Hitch Hiker, Night Surfin', Surfside, Lisa Maree, The Ninth Wave, Rumble-Still-Skins, The Ninth Wave, Not Another One, Twilight City, Moon Race, Liverpool, The Outrage

Track by Track Review


Beach Party dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

As was the market trend for labels back in the heyday of surf, any instro could be titled as a surf track and some poor schmuck kid would spend his allowance on it. In those days, if you didn't like it, too bad, there was no return. King Curtis was an excellent R&B artist for sure, but the only relationship between this and surf was it's use of a guitar lead and title. It's an excellent R&B instro, clean and bright, with a bit of an edge, and a reasonably melodic riff. The guitar tone is almost surfy.

Take It Off dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Peter Gunn" riff behind a gimmicky runway number with charm and cool piano. Great drums drive this infectious track. Nice to see this on CD. The Genteels included Lenny Angelo - guitar, Carl Hubert - drums, and Dave Aerni, who later formed Aertaun Records, the Wildwood Tornadoes' label.

Hitch Hiker dotdotdot
R&B Surf (Instrumental)

A slow sultry surf guitar jammin', a bass line from "Beep Beep," and groovy delicate drums. The tinkling piano drives it home. It's a little repetitious, but it works quite well.

Night Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This band has grown a lot. Their early few-and-far-between tracks were unmelodic and mere progressions, but this has a nice surf feel, a simple but effective melody, and twangy thin surf guitar sound. This is a moody track, a little brittle sounding, but entertaining and solid.

Surfside dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Islandic sock hop slow dance romantic guitar instro with surf sounds. It nearly makes it into the crying guitar category. Very pretty and smooth. Originally HMV single EA-4506, "Surfside" went to number one on the Australian charts.

Lisa Maree dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Damped pluckery, Shadows-ish guitar tone, tribal drums, and an infectious melody line. Not really surf, yet quite accessible and aquatic. Sultry and cool. "Lisa Maree" was the B-side of "Surfside."

The Ninth Wave dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

Not the Ventures song, but an organ based Memphis soul clone instro a la Booker T. & the M. G.'s. Relatively tame and churchy sounding. Derivative and unimaginative.

Rumble-Still-Skins dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

More shopping mall organ based Memphis soul clone instro music, but with tribal drums and runway sensibilities.

The Ninth Wave dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

Not the Ventures song, but an organ based Memphis soul clone instro a la Booker T. & the M. G.'s. Relatively tame and churchy sounding. Derivative and unimaginative.

Not Another One dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

Jammy guitar over surf sounds... weird whammy and a surfish riff. Somewhat dissonant, and non-melodic. having said all that, "Not Another One" is unique and catchy in a strange way.

Twilight City dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cool rolling rhythm track with a so-so melody line well played. No where near as nasty as some of their work. In stereo for the first time, this sounds a lot better and more interesting, even though it's still pretty tame.

Moon Race dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

The lead guitar plays an interesting lead melody similar in some ways to the What Four's "Gemini 4." Rhythmic and sporty, and fairly tame.

Liverpool dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hawaiian lap steel accents, light weight backing track, and a happy summertime melody, and some double picking too, plus a tuff sax break. Nice track.

The Outrage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Outrage" is an almost MOR track, despite the title. While pretty light weight, it's also pretty and infectious in its own way.