Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Seasonal Favorites Volume 3dotdotdotdot
artworkLots of really cool Christmas instros here, boys and girls! Let's hope you've been god so Santa can leave this gem beneath your tree when he comes surfin' by.

There are a handful of vocals among the slab of instro Christmas madness: The Barbary Coasters' "Secret Santa," The Polkaholics' "Sausage and Sauerkraut For Santa," O. J. Watson and the Ludlow Ramblers "We'll Be Home With Bells On."
Picks: The Balboas - This is Santa Claus, Peter Curry and Dick Chiclet - Old Anxiety, The Frankie Handwax Experience - We Three Kings, King of Hawaii - Greensleeves, The Mobsmen - Sa Gar Vi Rundt Om En Enebaerbusk, The Razorblades - Morgen Kinder Wirds Was Geben, Burt Rocket - Santa's Hot Rod, The Incredible Mr. Smith - Alle Jahre Wieder, The Surfites - Staffan Var En Stalledrang, Thee Swank Bastards - We Three Kings, Tiki Joe’s Ocean - Jingle Bells, Urban Surf Kings - Moguls

Track by Track Review


The Balboas - This is Santa Claus dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

Grumbly churning rhythm and tom toms pummel, dark double picked guitar assaults, and Santa Claus echoes his laugh and naughty boy threats. "This is Santa Claus" is really fiery and fun! It might bring the grinch out of your relatives, but they were already too easily offended anyway!

Peter Curry and Dick Chiclet - Old Anxiety dotdotdotdot
Xmas Rock (Instrumental)

Never let it be said that Pete Curry would let an opportunity to mess with standards go by! "Auld Lang Syne" is done at a modest pace, with a very punchy sound, and rich guitar. Infectious and strong, with very good arranging.

Excelsior - Good King Wenceslas dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This is a rockabilly instro with heavily echoed guitar in command. Big whammy and chop chords, with the rhythm section way in the background. I think that both the guitar effects and the low quality mix detract from enjoyment. I'll pass.

The Frankie Handwax Experience - We Three Kings dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

Well, now, isn't this fun! Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" serves as the backtrack to this aggressive assault on "We Three Kings." Very imaginative and fun. I'd guess your guests will be driven outside, but who cares! This is just brilliant, much in the way The Sex Pistols Christmas single was.

King of Hawaii - Greensleeves dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

This is a rich and splendid version of King Henry VIII's "Greensleeves." Really nice tone, delicate keys, and an excellent arrangement. Rock solid, chunky, and lovely throughout.

The Mobsmen - Sa Gar Vi Rundt Om En Enebaerbusk dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

Muted reverb, aggressive playing, and superb fun. I love the performance and arrangement. "Sa Gar Vi Rundt Om En Enebaerbusk" is a splashy holly-daze celebration!

The Razorblades - Morgen Kinder Wirds Was Geben dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

This is a rich song of kids' anticipation of tomorrow morning's gifts. Its attitude is optimistic in tat can't sleep kind of way that only the impending arrival of the fat man brings. Very cool track!

Burt Rocket - Santa's Hot Rod dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

A dragster engine rumble, then winds up and screams as the Christmas tree lights drop from red to green. Wonderful muted lead guitar and a classic surf bed. The organ carries the break while the guitars dribble and glissando rhythmically. Very cool!

The Incredible Mr. Smith - Alle Jahre Wieder dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

This is big, lumbering soundscape about the ambiance of every year's holiday. Tremolo surf guitar, deliberate drums, and soaring sound. "Alle Jahre Wieder" is very powerful, oozing cool at a slow-blues pace. Very interesting.

The Surfites - Staffan Var En Stalledrang dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

The signature playing and arranging of The Surfites is applied to this song of the season. It's aurally on the dull side, and in mono. A straight surf beat runs below the muted surf lead. "Staffan Var En Stalledrang" is infectious and fun, as always.

Thee Swank Bastards - We Three Kings dotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

Dribbling double picked guitar slowly plays this classic. A dominant walking bass line and too-distant ambient drums murk up the sound, but it seems to mostly work OK.

Tiki Joe’s Ocean - Jingle Bells dotdotdotdotdot
Exotica Xmas (Instrumental)

Big grins here! "Jingle Bells" is played on vibes above tropical beats and ambiance. The squeeze box verse is silly, but fitting. I love the percussion and bass! Tiki Joe’s Ocean certainly rock this one! The shouted grunts adds a bit of jungle! Superb!

Urban Surf Kings - Moguls dotdotdotdot
Surf Xmas (Instrumental)

This is a splashy and fun track, with an infectious riff and great drums. The chemistry here is powerful. this is one of those tracks where you realize the importance of the bass, which provides the foundation for the guitar and drums to rage against. I love the drums!