Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surfin' In The Midwest - Volume 2dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the second in the amazing series collecting landlocked surf from the American Midwest. Again, we find numerous tracks here that appear nowhere else, and some are essential. The artwork is not as interesting as the first volume, but the liners again provide ample data on the artists. There are rumors of a CD version coming soon.
Picks: Like Tuff, Ram-Charger, Gotcha, Misty Nights, The Monster, Riptide, Furious, Motivation, Istanbul, Dark Eyes, 2-3-4, Pipeline

Track by Track Review

Like Tuff dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Chicago band recorded "Like Tuff" in 1964. It features hot drumming, and a simple guitar riff which is played in various octaves to provide continued interest. It is gutty, spunky, grindy, and huge.

Ram-Charger dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ram-Charger" is a chunky, rhythmic, driven track with a real surf sound. It opens with a slow sad melody over dramatic rolling tom toms, then launches into a topdown kinda thing that is mostly a rhythm, but still captivates. "Ram-Charger" later appeared as a B-side to "Apache."

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.

Misty Nights dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, heavy surf guitar, and a mean sound characterize this evil 1963 surf monster from Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's thundering, surfy, rolling, and ominous to the max. A simple effective dark surf rave.

The Monster dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The monster growls, the girls scream, foretelling of a monster of a song, but then the band comes in with an insipid gutless thing, more a frat riff than a song. Minneapolis, 1964.

Riptide dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the introductory cry of "Riptide," this classic monster shreds mercilessly. Minneapolis was home to this talented band, where they recorded this track in 1963. It totally shreds - did I say that already. This is one hot monster! Based on a super simple riff, it employs the tried and true but rare technique of playing behind the bridge with extreme reverb. Great!

Furious dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It is fast and furious, but fairly thin. Infectious and major fun. Lawrence, Kansas was home to these cats, where they recorded this in 1963. It's simple riff is carried with speed and panache, else it would be a bore. A hot raver.

Motivation dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This was one of the monster bands of the Midwest, Duluth, Minnesota to be exact. All of their instros are fast furious raves sporting infectious melodies and extreme energy. This is totally great, with it's galloping rhythm guitar and wailing drums. Completely great 1964 recording.

Istanbul dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the BEST of all the covers of this song. Where all others tend towards the humorous nature of the song, this features powerhouse rolling drums, hot guitar and ominous tones. The engineer used acoustic chamber reverb to accent the guitar on some verses, adding more variation to an already stellar track. A monster!

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional Eastern Europe folk song has been done many times. The Renegades were from Minneapolis, where they issued this in 1964. It's fast and furious, and unlike all the other versions of this song. The damped "Maleguena" break is marvelous.

2-3-4 dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A basic frat riff and sound, not remarkable or interesting, just rare.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is from a live set in 1985 in Omaha, where Butch Berman was the guitar player behind Janice K. As they came on to warm up before she walked onstage, he broke into this spirited cover of the Chantays' classic. Butch, drummer Dave Ropel and bassist Gary 'Otto' Spalti all played in sixties surf bands in the Midwest, so naturally they did played surf stuff on stage. This was recorded on a boombox, but delivers the goods performance wise despite the limited sound.