Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surfin Knots Vol 4dotdotdotdot
artworkVolume four is expanded to twenty tracks from bands across the planet.
Picks: Silver Coast, Pacifica, Molokai Cocktail, The Rising Surf, Siamese Island, Happy As A Clam, Watusi Island, Harem Bells, Oahu Luau, The Quiet Surf, Malibu Midnight, Saz Chase, Lonely Tubes, Corona Del Mar, Tiki Cabana, Arizona Sunset, Aqua Vulva, Starlight Stroll, Burning Mirage, Firestorm At Surfrider

Track by Track Review

Silver Coast dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the sea and beautiful guitarscapes, "Silver Coast" rides on a circulating melody line atop a great rhythm. This fine track is is a fine example of the swirling perfection that the Insect Surfers are capable of. Gorgeous ringing tone and throbbing essence of surf, with long howling feedback and grumbling bass slowly releasing the track as it fades under the waves.

Pacifica dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bongos accompany the light drumming and very round bass lines as a guitar lays out an endless string of unchanging chord progressions. It's the watery bass that is carrying the lead, which makes this a most unusual surf sidestep instro. Picturesque, exotic, floating, and very moody. "Pacifica" carries the night under post beach party huddled arms around scenes dissolving slowly into one anther while a camp fire shimmers between the camera and the gossamer romantic moments.

Molokai Cocktail dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Molokai Cocktail" is a very enjoyable and infectious track. John Blair's sense of structure is unsurpassed, and his sense of drama in the arrangement is also spot-on. The organ supports the sound well. Solid surf thunder, crispy surf riff, warm surf images... get the picture?

The Rising Surf dotdotdotdot
Gretchabilly Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty unusual cover of Richie Podolor's best known piece. It's faster and less shimmering than any of the other versions. I've loved this song for so many years, that it took me a couple of listens to get past the pace change, as well as the rearrangement. Once past that (a purely emotional thing), I found I really liked this. Tasty and inventive. No question they made it their own.

Siamese Island dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite a nice song, with fluid guitar and a primal beat. The jazzy edge and bluesy feeling add to the island vision. "Siamese Island" is a beautiful song that floats on air in some ways, and begs for cheese in others via the Theremin.

Happy As A Clam dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Debating the relative joy of a bivalve mollusk aside, this KFJC track is indeed a happy song, with a highly infectious hook, and a speed driven double picked lead line. It not only laughs with you, it also growls and howls. This is a fine song destined to be a modern classic.

Watusi Island dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track. On the slower island side of the genre, "Watusi Island" shimmers and dances on the monitors. Fine percussion and moody writing. Excellent.

Harem Bells dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This cover of Satan's Pilgrims is way reverbed, almost to the point of the Flat Duo Jets. It's funky and fun, and well delivered. Thundering over reverbed mix that works ok, but could be much better.

Oahu Luau dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There's nothing like faux Polynesian stylings a la Martin Denny et. al. to get your mai tai flowing. It's hokey enough, and hotel grass shack smooth.

The Quiet Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An exotic beat, precise harmonics whammied into Hawaiian ecstasy, and that fluid playing create a splendid and original cover of this most beautiful of all Richie Podolor tunes. It's big and dramatic, and it's gentle and almost subtle. Beautiful.

Malibu Midnight dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy surf rhythm moodily runs under a great melody line with fine whammy chords. If there's a track on this disc that most epitomizes vintage surf, this is it. One rhythm guitar is vibrato, one muted reverb, and the lead is long in reverb sustain, a formula that the Astronauts understood.

Saz Chase dotdotdotdotdot
Egyptian Surf (Instrumental)

This "bonus track" sports acoustic guitar, and upright bass, and brushed drums. It's a rhythmic thing with a Mediterranean feel and a hint of the Violent Femmes and the Kaleidoscope (LA) in the arrangement. A very fun track, demonstrating that the Longhorn Devils style translates very well without amps. Amazing!

Lonely Tubes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Sebastian Hartmann tune is different, trad yet original, sad and spooky. Distant, but effective. Solid memorable riff.

Corona Del Mar dotdotdot
Desert Island Surf (Instrumental)

Desert island warm summer day quiet lagoon driftin' on a longboard and saronged female forms on the beach. Just a few of the images this conjures. Yeow!

Tiki Cabana dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

El Patio de Afternoono Dilecto (pardon my Spanish). Fiery, flowery, Spanish, and dripping coolness. It's an afternoon on the patio watching the curl break just beyond the bikini line. Very sensual.

Arizona Sunset dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Arizona Sunset" is a very slow moving gutty piece with a trembling guitar and lo-brow pace. Minimal in some ways, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan-ish in others, and with that placid Los Straitjackets grin.

Aqua Vulva dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aside from the obvious title, "Aqua Vulva" is a gentle, if slightly dark, instro with a moderate pace and engaging melody. Pretty, yet depressing at times. The effect is a compelling surf instro with a magnetic sound.

Starlight Stroll dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a nod to the Shadows, this track has a decidedly English feel to it. Vibrato, shimmer, and drama in the bridges. An excellent track.

Burning Mirage dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Immense spunk and traveling adventure are evident in every dramatic bar of "Burning Mirage." The muted surf rhythm is superb!

Firestorm At Surfrider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Less melodic, but just as moody as "Tower 9," track sends chills. It is intensely nerve wracking, with a nasty image produced from very clean tone. Splendid.