Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surfer's Beat - Freakout!!dotdot
artworkLotso mung among a handful of decent tracks. I can't figure why Steve Douglas' eighties material is here, except that Douglas is the sax player on the other tracks. The source material is all vinyl, and the restoration is only so-so, with some pops and clicks left in. Mostly, you can live without it.
Picks: Mike Adams and the Red Jackets - Green Sleeves And Blue Baggies, Woodie, Steve Douglas - Sashay, Freakout Guitars - There's A Kind Of Hush, Sunrise, Sunset, Down With It, Sun Spots, Dig Ye Deep

Track by Track Review

Red River Rock dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While Steve Douglas' sax wails, the band behind him is light weight, and the backtrack arrangement is less than interesting. Ho-hum! I'll stick with Johnny and the Hurricanes!

Hot And Glassy dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The fluffy backtrack and arrangement are just not very interesting - in fact, I'd say they border on juvenile. "Hot And Glassy" is a fast number with relentless drums and a speed freak pace. Some really nice piano and occasional sax flair.

Surfer's Beat dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Little Richard's "Lucille" provides the rhythm idea, and the melody is Percy Montrose's "Oh My Darling, Clementine." Dismissible!

Green Sleeves And Blue Baggies dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a tasteful version of King Henry VIII song for Anne Boleyn, "Green Sleeves." This may just be a different take from the same sessions as The Wavecrests, as it sounds very similar, just not exact.

When The Kooks Go Surfin' By dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Virgil Stamp's "When The Saints Go Marching In" is rocked up, but is a long way from essential, or even very interesting, though the drums do rock.

Foam And Fiberglass dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This version of "Blue Tail Fly" heavily is influenced by Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Beatnik Fly." The drums rock, the piano if cool, and the frantic pace kinda cool.

Queen's Surf dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Queen's Surf" is a romp through James Whitcomb Riley's "Shortnin' Bread." Pure pap, more or less. Quite dismissible.

Woodie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Perhaps the most interesting song on the Surfer's Beat LP, at least from an originality perspective, "Woodie" employs an original rhythm riff and frantic drums with walking bass. Otherwise jammy, it's just odd enough to stand out.

Rompin' At Rincon dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Penniman's "Lucille" is the basis of "Rompin' At Rincon." Very pedestrian.

Wipe Out At Sunset Beach dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very pedestrian blues jam. Its unremarkable riffs and structure just don't create a lasting impression. Some melody lines are borrowed from Fat's Domino.

Sashay dotdotdot

Slow easy tremolo guitar shimmers amid an electro clap backtrack. The melody is pretty and the track easy to listen to, but not particularly engaging. At times, the guitar seems Duane Eddy-like, and Steve Douglas' sax is as tasty as always.

Harlem Nocturne dotdot

Mucky organ and a chumpy rhythm track don't add anything to Steve Douglas' rendering of Earl Hagen's classic saucy instrumental "Harlem Nocturne."

Ruby Tuesday dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo guitar, modulated second guitar, and a gentle backtrack deliver a slushy version of The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday." While very pleasant, it's quite unremarkable.

There's A Kind Of Hush dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

"There's A Kind Of Hush" was made famous by Herman's Hermits, and this is every bit as easy and poppy as that little teeny bopper, though the lead guitar's tremolo and liquid sound occasionally suggest surf roots.

Sunrise, Sunset dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Jerry Bock's "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler On The Roof is done pretty nicely. The lead guitar is gently whammied and reverbed. The back track is regular rock, but this could easily fit between a couple of moody melody surf instros, or be adapted to the genre the rest of the way. Quite nice.

Theme To A Theme dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Melodically not the same, but the rhythm track liberally borrows from The Doors' "Hello, I Love You." While pretty jammy, "Theme To A Theme" is nonetheless not bad.

Down With It dotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Surprisingly surfabilly like, this guitar boogie is fairly liquid and fun. I didn't think it would survive the sniff test, but it did. Some nice licks and an easy country boogie gate. In the end, I liked this more than I care to admit.

Sun Spots dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Sun Spots" is a slow blues interpretation of "The Lonesome Road" that's drenched in tremolo and near-reverb guitar. It shimmers and trembles gently, and is very pretty.

Mother's Not Home dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Much like "The Madison" or "Madison Time," this is derivative and just so-so. The bright spot if the muted chop chords in reverb in the mid section, which salvages the song.

Playback dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

A basic blues progression and liberally lifted licks from standards of the fifties. All jam, not much style, yet spunky.

Heaven Is High dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Well, "Heaven Is High" is fun and bouncy, but you remember its name in the morning. Too jammy.

Dig Ye Deep dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

A little too much influence from "Rumble," but with light ringing surf tone. The drama of the beat and light tone are not beefed up by a slushy backtrack. That said, it kinda works, but gets too repetitious.