Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf On The Rocks Volume 3dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a pretty nice cross section of modern surf, much of which is lesser known. there are a couple of goofers here, but overall, it's a nice web-only bootleg comp.
Picks: The Aqualads - Speedshifter, The Bomboras - Red River Valley, The Breakaways - Percussionator, Los Coronas - The Wedge, Los Derrumbes - No Tengo Tabla, The Diamondheads - Waving, The Exotics - The Boppin' Bison, The Fabulous Plank-tones - Channel 9, The Foggy Mountain Rockers - Pipeline, The Halibuts - Chumming, The Imperial Surfers - Hullabaloo Beat, Jon and the Nightriders - Wild Weekend, Jonny and the Shamen - Lullaby of the Leaves, Laika and the Cosmonauts - A Night In Tunisia, The Longboards - Guinchy, The Mosquitoes - The Rip Curl Shaker, The Packards - Tally Ho, Pollo Del Mar - Charlie Don't Surf, The Rapiers - Straight To The Point, Los Straitjackets - Itchy Chicken, Surf Cinema - Strait Up Chuck, The Surf Raiders - Surf Bound, Los Twangs - Twanguska, The Ultras - Straight Arrow (Davie's Theme), Urban Surf Kings - Man From Adano, The Vara-Tones - Ramrods 'n' Hotrods, The Vibrants - Quite A Fireball, Way Out West - Swingin' Creeper

Track by Track Review


Los Alaridos Salvajes - Odisea Link Wray dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a muddy garage sound obviously dedicated to Link Wray. There are reverb crashes and big long chords, and lots of low brow distortion. The harsh audio detracts from a superb song in my view.

The Aqualads - Speedshifter dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

the drums pound as the rod revs up and races off, then the glissando rips and the jammin' twangin' ensues. Lots of energy and fire in this riff surfer.

The Bomboras - Red River Valley dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Merging surf and organ rock very effectively, The Bomboras rock mightily on this arrangement. A ton of energy and flair, and a grin or two as well.

The Breakaways - Percussionator dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drums are center stage in the tradition of Adrian and the Sunsets, but with more guitar work. The tribal drum break is very Cozy Cole inspired, and a joy to hear. Great!

The California Wave Wizards - Misirlou dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Trying really hard to pretend to the surf, this recording features lightly played thin guitar tone and is based on Dick Dale's 45 right down to the trumpet. It's just not very genuine sounding, and there's a dropped not in the guitar solo in the middle. Go buy the real thing!

Los Coronas - The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

One of Dick Dale's signature songs is rocked and rolled and surfed to perfection. This is perhaps the most interesting arrangement since the Detonators slowed it way down. "The Wedge" is full of energy and twin guitar drive, tuff glissandos, and pumpin' power from the bass and drums.

Los Derrumbes - No Tengo Tabla dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"No Tengo Tabla" rocks and pumps like a true frat rocker turned surf. Great glissandos and driving energy.

The Diamondheads - Waving dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Waving" is soft and slow, with a liquid evening groove that employs soft slow whammy chords and reverb to lull the night into providing a romantic backdrop. Beautiful and islandic!

The Exotics - The Boppin' Bison dotdotdot
Hoe Down (Instrumental)

Tipping their hat to the Bison Bop, this hoe-down riffola is quite cool. Buck Owens, or more likely Roy Clarke could do this.

The Fabulous Plank-tones - Channel 9 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Challengers' "Channel 9" is played with energy and drive. The drums are excellent and the guitar chimes in just right. Very fun track.

The Fantoms - Satellite dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Thick, over compressed production take the life out of "Satellite," which is too bad, because this rock instro has a lot of flair, rockin' drums, and pumping bass. The guitar tone is echo based in a European fashion.

The Foggy Mountain Rockers - Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

These cowboys shimmer and charm their way through The Chantays' "Pipeline" arranged somewhat like Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids, but less dramatic. It drifts far afield at times aurally, but never loses the energy stream or surf imagery.

The Halibuts - Chumming dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Chumming" is chunky, thumpy, percussive, progressional, and rhythmic. Like a fifties instro, with more precision and damped reverb. Great stuff!

Impala - Cat Fight dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A pumpin' bass line and plinking piano, amped by a stinging guitar. It's intensity befits the title, but there's little melody wise, just scene setting repetition.

The Imperial Surfers - Hullabaloo Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hullabaloo Beat" is a chunky chorded number with surf stomp sensibilities. Maybe a little frat rock-ish, but very fun and full of energy. A small combo bash and a-half.

Jon and the Nightriders - Wild Weekend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is easily the best cover of this classic instrumental, originally issued by the Rockin' Rebels. All the rhythm crunch is there, and the reverb just adds glitter to the mean edge of the song. Excellent!

Jonny and the Shamen - Lullaby of the Leaves dotdotdot
Ventures (Instrumental)

The Ventures splashed this up first of course. This is a pretty strait cover, more reverby, and maybe a little faster, but it's reverent and very good. A nice choice to cover in this set.

Laika and the Cosmonauts - A Night In Tunisia dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There was a lot of jazz in Southern California surf instros back in the days of old. This is a hot rendition of a spiffy jazz number from the fifties. It's a natural for the Euro instro sound.

The Longboards - Guinchy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This classic theme ("Dark Eyes") is converted nicely to a surf romp. Rich with reverb and dark surf energy, and sparkled with splashy rhythm guitar. Quite large!

The Mosquitoes - The Rip Curl Shaker dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Rip Curl Shaker" is a rippin' cool instro with reverb crashes and a solid beat. The melody line is very surf, and the energy superb. Real spunk and a scenic sense of traveling along a winding coastal highway with the curl below. The horns add a filmic feel. Great track!

The Packards - Tally Ho dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again, the drums create a necessary foundation for this rhythm dominated tune. Paul's sense of rhythm guitar has always dominated, giving his brilliant melodies a unique interlock with the rhythm guitar. Infectious and fun.

Pollo Del Mar - Charlie Don't Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Finally committed to disc, Pollo Del Mar's cut of the Clash's peon to surf has become very VERY surf. The rhythm is infectious, the bass solid, the drums perfect, and the glissandos right on. A thoroughly wonderful track!

The Rapiers - Straight To The Point dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Very tweaky, with stinging whammy chords and ultra echo guitar. Fast drums and an odd melody line make this stand out. The disturbed guitar echo is unnerving at times.

Los Straitjackets - Itchy Chicken dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Out in the barnyard, the chicks are peckin' at the ground, looking for a few grains to scarf down. The guitar plays the part of the chicken voice so well, and the flying double picked parts are fever pitched. Grindy, fast, super fun.

Surf Cinema - Strait Up Chuck dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the fast side, "Strait Up Chuck" is riffy and circular, but is also catchy. In some ways, it's hints of the Austin sound, yet speaks of Northern latitudes.

The Surf Raiders - Surf Bound dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Nevegans aka the Teen Beats originally cut this. It's a great rolling beat surf tune, melodic and infectious. The chants of "surf - bound" celebrate anticipation of the waves waiting just ahead. It's an excellent recording and performance.

Susan and the SurfTones - Perfidia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This ancient classic, from the days of the big band or before, is rendered in deference to the Ventures who popularized it for rock 'n roll fans in 1960. The arrangement is quite presurf, not the dry Pacific Northwest sound, but certainly that feel.

Los Twangs - Twanguska dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

On the modern side aurally, "Twanguska" has a familiar feel via its shouts of "hay" and the slightly Eastern European melody. Perhaps it's a transmutation of something, I don't know. Either way, it's a fine track with flair and a catchy melody and rhythm.

The Ultras - Straight Arrow (Davie's Theme) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a melody so much like Davie Allan's own it's scary, the Ultras delightfully drive towards the beach with a bitchin' track of no small dimension. Eric "Vanilla Sludge" Lenchner plays with a flair and sense of humor that is immediately recognizable. His background in the Readymades and at Maximum Louie Louie make him the perfect guitarist for your nightmares. Hats off to the man!

Urban Surf Kings - Man From Adano dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stereo chords and guitar lines wash up on a summer beach where the tourist stands in awe of the curl. Happy, prancing, country sweet, surf rhythmic, and very fun. I can't say I've heard quite this blend of country and surf sounds. More than just different, "Man From Adano" is a splendidly infectious track.

The Vara-Tones - Ramrods 'n' Hotrods dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Inspired by a merger between Al Casey's "Ramrod," the Duals' "Stick Shift," and the Fireballs' "Bulldog," this is so smoothly and completely merged that it just melts together into one seamless new song. Brilliant! Also called "Ram Shift Dog."

The Ventures - Hawaii Five-0 dotdotdotdot
Horror Film For Your Ears (Instrumental)

"Binge and Purge" lumbers down a path not often traveled, where loungecore and private eye jazz blend into a new recipe for sludgomatic horror throb. Just short of monstercore, this slithers and sneaks in the back allies of your town, looking for a garage to sleep in. It can't decide if it's suave and cool, or dark and sinister. The conflict between the trench coated gumshoe and the sci-fi radiation byproduct ooze from the planet sludge is all too enticing. You can draw a slight parallel to the soundscape of the Reventlos' "King Kong." No surf in sight, but this is a brilliant track, like a movie with no scenes.

The Vibrants - Quite A Fireball dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the Fireballs written all over it, "Quite A Fireball" bounces and grins with the same kind of charm that the Fireballs exuded. This is a wonderful track with great drums, perfect bass, and superb guitars.

Way Out West - Swingin' Creeper dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This classic Ventures' track from their Go-Go period is superbly surfed up. Way Out West employ great drums, very cool muted plucking, and delicate energy. I didn't expect to much, because other versions I've heard are either clones of very unimaginative. This is very good.