Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Remember The Beachdotdotdotdot
artworkA solid compilation of surfisms, ranging through the real instro surf to the surreal vocal stuff. This Australian compilation was over a year in the tube before seeing the light of day, but the wait is well worth it. There is to be another volume soon. There are some great tracks from otherwise unheard bands, some major improvements over the previous releases of others, and still others that are exactly what the doctor ordered. I only wish the track listing was more readable instead of scrolled around the artwork and in pink. It makes identifying tracks for air play a bit of a struggle. Also included are vocals by the Rock Island Boys, the Surfin' Lungs, and Seventh Wave.
Picks: The Exotics - Shake-A-Rama, The Evil Deep, Greasy Hawaiians - The Wedge, The Victor, GT Stringer - Theme Of Surf Rescue, Walk The Plank, The Hekawis - Yokozuna, Moment Of Truth - Moment Of Truth, Riptide, Pollo Del Mar - Gate', Teleport, Tsunami - The Dreamer, The Lost Wave, The Woodies - Surfin' With Bernie, Zorba's Last Ride, Yeah Yeah - Sink Or Swim

Track by Track Review

The Exotics - Shake-A-Rama dotdotdotdot
Hip For Hipsters Surf (Instrumental)

Thin dry guitar tone over a totally hip rhythm section. Whammy coolness and strange second guitar sounds. If the lead was stringer or less thin, It would be a 5 star track.

The Exotics - The Evil Deep dotdotdot
Sleazy Surf (Instrumental)

A slow dance over compressed low down semi-sleaze number. It's a good idea, but too compressed.

Greasy Hawaiians - The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Bitchin' Feline Surf (Instrumental)

What a name! From it, I expected faux Polynesian or Low Rider Martin Denny, but to my delight, it's credible fiery surf. The Greasy Hawaiians' sound is somehow distant, not ambient or lo-fi, just distant. They are doing Dick Dale's arrangement from the Tigers Loose album, long solo guitar first verse and all. Pretty damn cool! Over all, it's a fiery performance and a bitchin' sound!

Greasy Hawaiians - The Victor dotdotdotdot
Dickster Surf (Instrumental)

A really cool rendition of the Dickster's tune. Unusual rhythm guitar stands out. It's quite infectious. Dig it!

GT Stringer - Theme Of Surf Rescue dotdotdotdotdot
Rescue Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

My absolute favorite Oz surf band! From their jazz roots, they launch real surf for real surfers and musicians and fans and... The track uses rescue speak and sound effects over the top of a really cool surf/jazz thing that uses shimmering chords and has Trevor Ramsay's low-down nasty sax adding ominous tones... Great!

GT Stringer - Walk The Plank dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is IT! This tune was an afterthought, like "Wipe Out." The band had a few minutes of time remaining in the studio, and they just jammed. It wasn't "written" or "conceived." It just happened in real time, in one take, completely un-augmented. It turns out to be the most interesting and powerful track on the disc. It resides halfway between the Mermen and jazz, with really cool baritone sax tones and feedback. melodic, moody, and powerful! The vibrato shimmers and the sax groans. The false ending precedes a mess glorious feedback followed by thirty seconds of shorebreak.

The Hekawis - Yokozuna dotdotdot
Party Surf (Instrumental)

Totally unlike their single. More surfy, though the keys are too loud. Melodically weak, but totally fun.

Moment Of Truth - Moment Of Truth dotdotdotdot
Original Surfaris Surf (Instrumental)

Moment of Truth have been around for quite a spell in the land of Oz, but this is their first surfacing that I am aware of. Their rendition of the Original Surfaris' arrangement of "Moment Of Truth" is a natural, given their name. The guitars are heavy, dry, and edgy. The delivery is crunchy and precise. A great cover.

Moment Of Truth - Riptide dotdotdot
Riptide Surf (Instrumental)

An average cover of a song that's showing up on a lot of releases these days. The original is still the best. The guitars are edgy, but there doesn't seem to be much energy.

Pollo Del Mar - Gate' dotdotdotdotdot
Exotic Monk-chant Surf (Instrumental)

The monks chant... Then, one of the coolest surf-n-ska melody grinders ever hauls you down the highway. One of my long time favorite PDM songs. Melodic, and quirky, and the ska section is just too infectious!

Pollo Del Mar - Teleport dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Space Surf (Instrumental)

Surfin' the space continuum with a jazzy edgy duel between Jono's & Ferenc's guitars. It conjures images of a battle scene on a small blue planet near Aldebaran. The structure of the song and the grand glissandos speak volumes about adventure and challenge. Phasers on stun - NOT! This is for keeps!

Tsunami - The Dreamer dotdotdotdot
Whammy Surf (Instrumental)

Austin guitar tones and melodic structures with ample whammy action. Very cool sounds and nifty hooks.

Tsunami - The Lost Wave dotdotdot
Edgie Surf (Instrumental)

Edgy guitars grind out a mid tempo melody. Pretty nice!

The Woodies - Surfin' With Bernie dotdotdotdotdot
Happy Melodic Surf (Instrumental)

Northern California:
This is THEE MOST INFECTIOUS surf melody ever written, and the performance is up to the Woodies' usual standard. They are sorely missed. Rick Escobar's writing talent is unsurpassed. Of the 5 or six versions I have from live performances, this is among the best. Totally killer, and the interplay between the guitars epitomizes classic surf!

The Woodies - Zorba's Last Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Fiddler On The Wave Surf (Instrumental)

Northern California:
From the fertile mind of Rick Escobar comes one of those mergers that leaves you saying of course. Take the nineties best trad surf bad, make 'em do the Greek line dance and yell "Hey!" a lot, and through in some Greek folk changes, and you have what should have been done eons ago. Totally wonderful!

Yeah Yeah - Sink Or Swim dotdotdot
Surf Ska (Instrumental)

This Oz Ska band use their ska savvy to launch a surf instro with some dry double picked guitar lines. The horns are just fine.