Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Revival Rarities Volume 2dotdotdot
artworkSome pretty obscure stuff amid lots of lo-fi. Surf Revival Rarities Volume 2 is much less interesting than the first volume, and with all the stellar tracks out there, some really beg the question 'why?'
Picks: Agent Orange - Skinny Dip, The Boardwalkers - Boardwalker, Mark Brodie and the Beaver Patrol - Shake-N-Stomp, The Exotics - Goofy Foot, Duke Galaxy and the Pipeliners - Rhinochasers, Impala - Taos Experiment, Jon and the Nightriders - Thunder Over Rincon, Man or Astro-MAN? - Surf Terror, Los Mel-tones - Showdown at La Jolla, The Mono Men - Mr. Eliminator, Monsters From The Surf - Half-Pipe, The Neptunas - Dig Thee Phantom 5ive, Surf Softly (But Carry A Big Board), Surf Party, The Phantom Surfers - Move It, Pollo Del Mar - Insecticide, The Sir Finks - The Ugly Surfer, Southern Culture On The Skids - Rumors Of Surf, Los Straitjackets - Gatecrasher, The Surfaris (Jim Pash) - Scatter Shield, The Surfdusters - March of the Invisible Traffic Cops, The Surf Raiders - The Wedge, Let There Be Surf, The Surf Trio - Moment Of Truth, The Tikis - Surfadelic, The Trashwomen - Surf Creature, The Untamed Youth - Minor Chaos, The Volcanos - Side-Swipe, The Wrong Notes - Steel Pier

Track by Track Review


Skinny Dip dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

This is a fine extra-punch cover of the Halibuts' tune from their early days. From the original melodic Pete Curry / Rick Johnson surf tune, Mike Palm has crafted a perfectly shreddin' monster that fits his sound like a glove. The drums are in your face poundy, and the energy of the track is intense. This song is infectious. A great side.

Boardwalker dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A faster paced tune with some finely double picked lines, as well as some whammy chords, and vibrato drama. Thick surf splash.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures, Bobby Fuller, and many others did this tune so many years ago. It's fun, but not very different. Energetic and spunky.

Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale probably didn't expect anyone to cover his simple rhythmic tune. In many ways, it's a spin-off of Surf Beat, which he probably had no idea would be definitional of the beat and the genre, for it is his beat that graces many of the surf tracks, and it is the name of this track that has been lifted to identify the genre itself. "Shake n' Stomp" is just about the best cover of Dick Dale's early Del-tone masterwork I've ever heard. Mark gets this really good trad sound that is also quite modern. It has that you-play-quiet-and-I-make-it-loud-in-the-mix kind of punch that most surf records from Pal & Downey had.

Goofy Foot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ocean waves break on the shore as the Exotics break into a solid performance of the Lively Ones' "Surf Battle." Demo sound makes it a little murky, but the band plays with power and style. Hard driving and very cool.

Rhinochasers dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chirpy electronics and a brave new world of doom introduce this riff rocker. Reverby in the whole track sense and very progressional. There are some bright sports between verses, but mostly it's trashy chord surf with a bit of whammy. The break is very cool, almost a reggae romp.

Squad Car dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spirited but not very powerful version of Eddie and the Showmen's classic "Squad Car." It doesn't really have a surf feel, but there is an ample helping of fun. Relatively lo-fi.

Skeletal Surf dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Thick, dark rock tone with boomy lo brow playing of a riff rocker. Loud, but very simple progression rock.

Frankensurfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thrashy and spunky, "Frankensurfer" lives on a circling riff. Not melodic, just garage riff surf. Lo-fi sound furthers the sense of this being a demo.

Taos Experiment dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Taos Experiment is an edit of "Taos Pueblo" and "Experiment In Terror." I don't know if this is a released merger or a hybrid for this comp. It appears to be most of side two of Ltd A Go-Go (Power Of Bob Records POB 102). "Taos Pueblo" is a grode desert surf drive and whammy dash with glissando action, and a low down riff. "Experiment In Terror" slowly oozes out in a dark corner of your imagination, where there is no waking up when it gets tough. Spooky, big, distant, ominous. Raw and intensely mean. The screaming sax is too cool!

Thunder Over Rincon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the first studio outing for Jon and the Nightriders' incredible "Thunder Over Rincon." It is exactly that, a thundering ominous rumbler of a tune, gutsy and dark. John Blair's creativity is, as always, strident. His skill at generating genre-perfect instros on the dark power side of the aisle is without compare. Mean track.

Surf Terror dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Terror" is a dark and grode surfism, a kind of reverberating vibratoed adventure in non surf melody structure with big wave edge.

Creature From The Surfers Lagoon dotdot
Surf Horror (Instrumental)

This is a trashy number with mostly a progression that includes vinyl noise to prove its bootleg origin. Dismissible.

Showdown at La Jolla dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit Surf Trio-ish of a melody line and structure. Great guitar tones.

Mr. Eliminator dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Super flux garage presentation of the Dick Dale classic done in an almost identical arrangement years earlier by the Smithereens. Hot and edgy.

Half-Pipe dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark tone leaning towards The Centurions dominates this demo-sounding recording. The melody riff is solid, the surf creds solid, and the performance pretty decent. Some muted, some open, and no double picking. Nice track.

Dig Thee Phantom 5ive dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rippin' progressions and rhythmic fun abound as the dolphin free wigglers of the brine dedicate this track to Tennessee's rois du surf Thee Phantom 5ive. Fun and sun, warmth and carport froth.

Surf Softly (But Carry A Big Board) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A boss cover of the Astronauts rarity, rhythmically pumped out, with solid infectious textures. This is one of the Astronauts' quirkier recordings to cover, and it's melody is quite catchy. It fades in at the start. The rhythm guitar is playing a really nice little pattern that is different than the original, and it really adds to the piece. This is fairly garagy, sounding maybe like it's a live session. Excellent track.

Surf Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Party" is a damn fine rendition of The Astronauts' tune. These Memphis fellas have a great authentic rockin' party approach that kicks hindquarters smartly. More frat than band, but entertaining as Hell.

Move It dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and tortured rendition of the Chantays' "Pipeline" B-side. I've heard the Phantom Surfers do this better than anyone except the Spiedels. This is not such a performance, but it is worth having.

Insecticide dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Written in honor to The Insect Surfers, this masterful track features Pollo Del Mar's trademark dueling guitars, something the Insects also widely use. The guitars are intense, and the desert mysteriously appears in your mind's eye as you bath in the soundscape. Gettin' air off a snowboard racing down a sand dune just barely avoiding the major scuffing a wipe out would deliver. Wow!

Surfin' Turd dotdot
Fuzz Punk Garage (Instrumental)

Club PA sound-alike fuzz punk rant with stoopid barf-vocal shouts of "Surf's Up!-Hoo-Ah" do not a surf song make. Boring comes to mind. As a punk band, probably cool. As a surf track... forget it.

The Ugly Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pure fantastic trad surf. The damped leads and percussive attack make this very enjoyable. The band scream and shout, clearly having too much fun playing this exceptional track. Strong melody, and a sense of the Fireballs, but more percussive. Great!

Rumors Of Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"California Sun" drums play underneath a fine surf guitar melody. Brooding and double picked, with a charming vibrato break augmented with the vocal hollering of Mary Huff. Very fun track.

Gatecrasher dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The band flies high on this track, with the energy and chemistry perfectly in sync. Power beat and double picked introductory phrases lead to an infectious performance with Danny in the lead. There's no mistaking the surf foundation here. Majorly enjoyable and energetic.

Scatter Shield dotdotdotdot
Surf Revival Review (Instrumental)

As the flappers would have said, "Yowsa!" A great version of a great Surfaris original. Powerful, and well delivered. The sample is OK.

March of the Invisible Traffic Cops dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Marching of to the waves, reverbed guitar chops and whistling organ over sync-locked bass and drums make for a fun and diversionary journey through a B-movie no man's land. Very suave.

The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Flying guitar work, pounding drums, and Dick Dale-isms everywhere. This performance is exceptionally good. Hot damn!

Let There Be Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a hot performance of the Chevells' great obscuro. It's very hot and fun, full of power. The energy is masked somewhat by the compression breathing and muddy sound.

Moment Of Truth dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A solid cover of the Original Surfaris' version of this tune. Not as energetic or powerful as the original, or the Eliminators' or Apemen's versions.

Surfadelic dotdotdotdot
Pop Psych Surf (Instrumental)

What a great track. It's rhythmic, poppy, garage pop surf instro, with a great hook, a cool sound, and a great balance between the light surf guitar and the Farfisa.

Surf Creature dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine melody and spirited delivery with The Trashwomen's classic lo-fi sound. Elka Zolot's guitar drives pretty hard. Lots of potential here.

It's my opinion that she was an unpolished talent back by players that just could keep up with her - a situation that prevented her from serious consideration and recognition.

Minor Chaos dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I was hoping "Minor Chaos" would be a real screamer, like their version of "The Hearse." It's not. The guitars are relatively dry, and there's none of the energy and pound of their other surf material, or either of the originals by Minneapolis legends the Treasures and/or Steve Rowe and the Furys. Coming up short of their usual surf standard does not mean it's not a good listen.

Side-Swipe dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A simple but powerful pumping tune. Their infectious sound and fiery approach carries it off well.

Steel Pier dotdotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

This Impacts tune is reverbed out, and played with enough energy to compare to the original. It's more surfy, with glissandoes, and no lap steel. The dribbling double picked parts are a nice change.