Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Wardotdotdot
artworkThis late eighties bootleg comp includes a lot of widely available material, though at the time it was mostly hard to come by. Some of these tracks appear nowhere else. While it's a long ways from essential, it's also not dismissible.
Picks: Exotic, Smoky Stomper, Lost Weekend, Boss Beat, The Surfer, King Of The Stomp, Moon Journey, Boogie Rock, The Lonely Surfer, Cruel Sea, Banzai Washout, Lowdown, Surf Rider, Continental Twist, Sahara Surf, Surf Twist, Pyramid, Odd Ball

Track by Track Review


Exotic dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This early Dave Myers and the Surftones dry arrangement of "Exotic" is not nearly as pretty and precise as the rest of their material. It has all the raw energy of primitive surf, and Dave's characteristic country voice shouting here and there is proof positive of his presence. The melody is the minimalized version also used by Bob Vaught and the Renegaids, as opposed to the full power melody if the Sentinals or the Pachuko Soul of the Rhythm Kings. A great track. The sleeve lists the song title as "Exotic Surf Rock."

Smoky Stomper dotdotdot
Hillbilly Surf (Instrumental)

One of many examples of American standards in the public domain adapted for surf. Like the Belairs' "Little Brown Jug," it is a direct adaptation. Unlike that, it is rocking and funky.

Lost Weekend dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow moving number is cool and long, slightly saucy, and sports that classic Rumblers groove. Surprisingly, it doesn't appear on any other source.

Boss Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Boss," listed on the sleeve as "Boss Beat," is the Rumblers lone national hit, and was the basis for their follow up singles "Boss Strikes Back," "Son of Boss," and "Boss Drums." Heavily R&B based, rhythmic and grumbly, its catchy thump and honkin' grodiness are essential listening for ant fan of the genre.

The Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The ultra simple riff employs but three notes, and the sax plays a mild support role. The jam break is inspired and fun, though relatively unmusical, yet I find it surprisingly fun and enjoyable.

King Of The Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the most surf worthy of the tracks on the album, and has been comp'd a few times. It's a raw double picked dry surf sound, with early Dick Dale Rendezvous Ballroom ambiance, and solid drive. Quite infectious, this is a must have bit of studio surf history.

Moon Journey dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Moon Journey" is a very fifties-ish instro, a slow stroll with plinking piano and grodie vibrato guitar. Mostly dismissible, with little personality.

Boogie Rock dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Boogie Rock" is an odd track. It sounds like it's caught between primitive early surf and the late fifties instro sound. The progression is much like many surf instros, the guitar tone verges on reverb, the sax is pretty surfable, and the piano is used like many early surf instros did. While it's not the most exciting thing around, it is quite serviceable, and would easily lend itself to a modernized surf treatment.

The Lonely Surfer dotdotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

"The Lonely Surfer" is an enigma, hardly legit surf band fare, yet definitely a genre classic. It only charted at 39 on Billboard, but it is among the more recognizable and sophisticated surf standards. It's haunting moody and dramatic. The French horns are surreal, giving it a major pompous feel that somehow transcends the dismissibility of other similar works, like the "Surfers Stomp" Marketts sessions. Amazing.

Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among the better covers of this Dakotas (Billy J. Kramer) tune written by Mike Maxfield.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best sixties covers of Steve Douglas' classic from the Catalinas sessions. It's not quite as intense exactly, but is sure does rock. Great version.

Lowdown dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Your basic guitar riff with slapped and choked notes, and a wailing sax. It's cool R&B flavored rock. (previously unissued)

Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surf band covers a Nokie Edwards (Ventures) tune that had no relation to surf as written. In fact, it started life as a Potato concept song called "Spudnik." It is the short fade-out length version, and in mono.

Continental Twist dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Jimmy and the Rackets were a British Beat group. This is structurally a surf song, but it is without reverb. Dry guitar tones accompanied by a very cool piano.

Sahara Surf dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Sahara Surf" is a very cool instro with a surfish guitar playing a just barely Egyptian melody. The basic exotic beat and rhythm track are super simple and very appropriate. It's a long ways from adventurous, but it sure is fun.

Surf Twist dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Cotillions's "Surf Twist" is a nearly surf instro, perhaps in the mold of the South bay sound, but not as rhythm dependent. It's a good instro which is just short enough to avoid becoming too repetitious.

Pyramid dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Pyramid" (listed as "Pyramid Climb" on the sleeve) is a light weight instro with a dry damped rhythm and thin lead, and a cool sax break over a lesser "Flamingo Express" (Royaltones) rhythm. Mostly, it's like a cross between surf and that which came before. Actually called "Pyramid."

Odd Ball dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A gentle damped surf rhythm chunks under a fifties sax and surf guitar kinda riff rocker. While quite subdued, "Odd Ball" (titled "Odd Ball Surf" here) has a kinda cool simplicity to it.