Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Sleazy Surf Vol. 2dotdotdotdot
artworkSome great stuff here, some obscuros, some so-so. Note Richie Podolor's original 1959 issue of "Samoa!"
Picks: Bruno and the Gladiators - Istanbul, The Chandelles - El Gato, Los Holy's - Melodia Encantada, The Invaders - Davy Jones' Locker, The Mockers - Madalena, The New Dimensions - Phantom Skier, Dick Podolor - Samoa, The Sherwoods - El Scorpion, St. John and the Cardinals - Rampage, The Vee Eights - Trick Fueler, The Velvetones - Doheny Run

Track by Track Review

The Black Sheep - Baa Baa dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gutty guitar and cheap organ play a progression segmented by calls of "bahhhh." Completely forgettable.

Bruno and the Gladiators - Istanbul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a paradoxical rendering of the classic "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Paradoxical because the pumped up energy and surf guitar rock hard, while the console organ is just too mall rat cheesy. High energy and an infectious beat, with no shortage of charm.

The Chandelles - El Gato dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"El Gato" is a track John Blair sent me on cassette years ago, and it ranks as one of my favorite obscuros, at least as far as moderate tempo numbers are concerned. It's not exactly double picked, but it is a very infectious low note tune based on a unique riff. It makes you wanna drive the open road on a hot day with the top down on your '67 Camaro. Originally issued in 1963.

Los Holy's - Melodia Encantada dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rising from echoed keys, and sporting some very cool and simple guitar stuff, "Melodia Encantada" ("Unchained Melody") is romantic, yet psychedelically haunting. Great bass lines, dribbling muted surf reverb, and excellent drums complete the picture. Superb!

The Invaders - Davy Jones' Locker dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Warbly whammy country style with twango abounding. The infectious country beat really takes you for a ride. Not aquatic at all, but it sure is fun!

The Mockers - Madalena dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great grimy intense reverb renders this track oh-so surf! Real basic, and all about the liquidy outboard splash. For such an unremarkable melody, "Madalena" sure is a cruncher. Great stuff!

The New Dimensions - Phantom Skier dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a haunting western theme that's supported by a grode dark rhythm guitar and wonderful muted lead. Gnarly reverb is an understatement. A wonderful obscuro.

The Outlaws - Hold Up dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hold Up" starts out with a slowly rising chord series, and the melody riff really doesn't take this beyond a jam, which is further cemented by the sax.

Dick Podolor - Samoa dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This earliest version of "Samoa" from Dick Podolor (Richard Podolor) demonstrates that the roots of surf go really far back. This is 1958 or 59. Radio 112 (Samoa c/w B.B. Polka) (1958)

The Sherwoods - El Scorpion dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unusual version of Ernesto Lecuona's "Malaguena," with piano lead. Maybe that's as it should be, 'cuz Ernesto Lecuona wrote t for piano. Guitars, bass , drums, sax, and bell-like piano. This really grows on you.

St. John and the Cardinals - Rampage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf twango over a rabid rhythm track that seems rushed. A good melody riff and durable style. Not the Rick and the Ravens instro, or the Revels either. Unusual.

The Vee Eights - Trick Fueler dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drums, dark double picked surf guitar, and a lot of jammy lines. This is not one of those great finds exactly, because it's not melodic, but the tribal tom toms and splashy guitar sure do rock.

The Velvetones - Doheny Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf grind, chunky and reverbed, with raw sax and a groovy surf 'n' soul sound. Pumped up, and just melodic enough. "Doheny Run" relies on its guts to carry it passed the riff rock limitation. Great stuff.

The Webs - Lost (Cricket In My Ear) dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a simple riff rocker with some inserted narratives about crickets in the ear. All novelty. This is the b-side to Blue Skies, originally issued on Heart 333 (Blue Skies c/w Lost (Cricket In My Ear)), also light 9004

The Weirdos - Jack The Ripper dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Murky dungeonous sounds, creaking doors, footsteps, and breaking glass. Screams complete the riff rocker's journey into novelty land.