Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Ride The First Wavedotdotdotdot
artworkThis web comp was inspired by The Bitch Boys Ride The First Wave album. It contains the original (in most cases) versions of the many songs they covered, and their originals included. An interesting concept.
Picks: The Bitch Boys - Prince Igor vs. Phantom Of The Opera, Pendleton Surf, Vltava, In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Tamburalo Momce Uz Tamburu, Snowman, The Catalinas - Banzai Washout, The Centuries - The Outer Limits, The Champs - Twenty Thousand Leagues, Dave and the Customs - Ali Baba, The Ghouls - Dracula's Theme, Tony Hatch - Out Of This World, The Lively Ones - Surf Rider, The Majestics - Big Noise From Makaha, The Phantom Five - Graveyard, The Rhythm Boys - Chinese Surf, The Ricco-Shays - Damascus, Theo Schumann Combo - Puszta Beat, Steve and the Emperors - The Breeze and I, The Strangers - Caterpillar Crawl, The Surfmen - Ghost Hop, The Tradewinds - Gotcha, Charles Tranum - Rat Pfink Theme, The Vulcaines - Twilight City, Laurie Wade's Cavaliers - Cloudburst, Zorba and the Greeks - Shockwave

Track by Track Review


Prince Igor vs. Phantom Of The Opera dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lovely version of "Adventures In Paradise" with parts of "Phantom Of The Opera" mixed in. Part slow and sinewy, part fast and liquid, with wonderful sound. Excellent!

Pendleton Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From a basic riff rock origination comes a great surf instro with a wonderful damped reverb verse amid a variety of verse styles. The frequent changes keep it very interesting. Lush and well done.

Vltava dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Much more on the pop side, "Vltava" is a decidedly European melody that's adapted well to the surf idiom. catchy and just a bit moody, and softened with strings.

In The Hall Of The Mountain King dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" is perhaps arranged a little like Nero and the Gladiators' single, but with surf picking and reverb like the Avengers VI version. Fast and fun.

Tamburalo Momce Uz Tamburu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Bitch Boys are racing and splashing through this traditional tune. Splendid sound and fury, upbeat and very attractive, with interesting production.

Snowman dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Snowman" is a slow and haunting song of beauty and lush arranging. It has a hugeness like the Mermen, but is much lighter. Very fluid and pristinely pretty. Long dribble glissandos and spooky echoes.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Douglas wrote this classic and plays the raging sax. Dick Dale later covered it. The melody is hot, the rhythm is driving, the drums inspired, and the whole thing rocks. The brilliant ringing tones and the speed are marvelous. One of the great singles. Billy Strange played the fiery lead.

The Outer Limits dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With almost "Boondocker" rhythm guitar work, warbly leads and behind the bridge notes permeating the track, this stands out as one of the most unusual surf releases. It's ominous and weird, and surfing aliens written all over it. Too cool!

Twenty Thousand Leagues dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bubbles open "Twenty Thousand Leagues," which drifts into an echoed tremolo grinder with nasty sax. This is one of the most surf tracks from The Champs. It's quite cool in a slow dark sorta way.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave and the Customs recorded what must be the other "Miserlou." This is a totally tubular track that just plain moves. The relentless rolling drums, the low-E double-picked melody, the crescendo break... it made me twitch in my britches the first time I heard it. This is definitely the highlight of this CD. Oh, what I wouldn't do for the studio tapes on this one! Who were these guys, anyway? The other side of this single was a vocal version of "Shortnin' Bread." Their other single was "Mizerlou" c/w "Bony Marony."

Breakin' Up dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of those frustrating moments when a band that totally had the instruments and the sound, goes off and records something that isn't even remotely surf, and doesn't lend itself to being surfed up... interesting, but they must have recorded something really cool I've never heard. It's an R&B Vegas trash thing, but with surf sensibilities. Odd, and the absurd laughs make is even less credible.

Dracula's Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More amazing Richie Podolor guitarage. I can't get enough of his work. This is a silky slow track with a beautiful melody line and an optimistic sadness about it. Really cool!

Out Of This World dotdotdotdot
UK Vibrato Exotica (Instrumental)

Tony Hatch was a studio session guy in the UK. Like US session man output, this sports little chemistry, just lot's of precision. Yet, the vibrato guitar and cool exotic space cadet sounds and percussion keep it on the list of possible. Very cool.

Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surfband covers a Nokie Edwards (Ventures) tune that had no relation to surf as written. In fact, it started life as a Potato concept song called "Spudnik." This is the grand and beautiful song that runs under the ending credits of Pulp Fiction. This is the full length version, not the single edit.

Big Noise From Makaha dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This obscuro on a Riverside label is pure surf, in the garage vein. It's mean sax break hints of Steve Douglas. The guitars reverb away with deep spring action. Yikes! "Big Noise From Makaha" is a surfization of "Big Noise From Winnetka."

Graveyard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The wind howls and the thunder rolls, then the surf guitars take over. This is a fine tune in the early surf mold, with hard driving drums, variations verse to verse, reverb, and big twang. The vibrato is cool too. Quite a fine obscuro.

Dark Eyes
Surf (Instrumental)

The Revelaires

Chinese Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy low-E vibrato, surf intentions, and spiffy double picking in a fifties framework yield a hybrid track of surf worthy note. Very cool. No idea who these boys were.

Damascus dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Crunchy rhythm guitar, EchoPlexed lead, and a semi Middle Eastern melody. Not very exotic, not surfy, and not very infectious, though it could really be surfed up by a solid band like the Space Cossacks. I can hear the chunk now!

Puszta Beat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Theo Schumann Combo was part jazz artist, part pop wizard, and often original in its styling. "Puszta Beat" is surprisingly pop-rock normal given the date and nature of the music scene at the time. Interesting.

Sandstorm dotdotdot
Fifties Rock (Instrumental)

This is not a cover of Johnny & the Hurricanes' great instro. It is a melody-free grinding fifties B-side kinda thing, intense, Link Wray influenced, and energetic.

The Breeze and I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy duty surf sound here. The tune is the other Ernesto Lacuona tune (the first being "Malaguena") done by many of the surf bands, including Jim Messina and the Jesters. This is really heavy gage E-string work, with wild mariachi horns and a ton of fire. A totally infectious and cool release from 1963 on Best.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdotdot
R&B Big Guitar (Instrumental)

This is the ultra grode original of a tune that the Lively Ones did so well, and that Dick Dale still includes in his set. Totally funky and groovy, and very sensual.

Rockin' Rebel dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a riff rocker in a late fifties rockin' format. No real melody, just an in your face attack. Loud and dirty.

Ghost Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ghost Hop" sports a great melody riff played on low-E surf guitar, with classic piano tinkling and great drums. The nasty sax in the break is a fine offset. Powerful and infectious.

Gotcha dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A low-E damped dry guitar raver, with speedy double picks, and a cool rhythmic progression. It's gutty without being overwhelming. The drums are manic. Really cool damped guitar less reverb, double picked flair, and a tribal feel. Quite dry for a surf vintage surf track, but it has all of the elements. It rumbles along at a fast clip with fun and wave riders energy.

Rat Pfink Theme dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Grode screams precede slide guitar that's sorta surfy with over use of Ondioline, the keyboard instrument that was also prominently featured in the same wailing mode on Kai Winding's More album. here, it also runs glissandos in an extremely strange manner, creating a warped sense of reality. "Rat Pfink Theme" is compelling in its weirdness, and in the fact that the Ondioline is used as an instrument more than a gimmick.

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, and quite commercial sounding.

Cloudburst dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cloudburst" is a very spunky instro with guts, string slaps and chokes, a groovy low-E melody line, and a surf feel. Rolling tom toms and lots of energy. An excellent single.

Shockwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool tune. The organ comes in notably late in it's first note, but the extended reverb kicks are too cool, and the reverb lead is quite nice. The melody is friendly and fun. This tune is infectious and seems to stay with you. It stands up to multiple listenings. The label was Golden State Recorders, a San Francisco based label run by the legendary Leo de gar Kulka. I don't know if they were locals or just came to the city to record.