Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Wardotdotdot
artworkThis vintage comp is all classic surf style, and pretty raw too. This an important album! With half the tracks from the Centurians (a.k.a. Centurions), it could be viewed as their first album, or at least half album / ep.
Picks: Exotic, Sanjuro, Surf Bird, Mile Zero, Bullwinkle Part II, Steel Pier, The Wedge, Pipeline, Surf War, Ray Bay, Intoxica, Kon Tiki

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."

Sanjuro dotdotdotdot
Slow Burn Surf (Instrumental)

Before they were on Del-Fi, the Centurions recorded a few tracks for this comp. They were among the most ominous, with their frequent use of super low-E lead lines. This track is shimmeringly evil, with a low down slightly Middle Eastern melody and slow burn sleeve appeal.

Surf Bird dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is an instro version of the Charades vocal "Surf Bird." Funny how much cooler this is. R&B low down soul with hand claps.

Mile Zero dotdotdotdot
Crude Surf (Instrumental)

Bob's usual raw style is evident on this edgie vintage surf track with wailin' sax over a rudimentary progression in search of a melody. Only "Surfin' Tragedy" is pristine by these guys. The rest of their tracks are in this vein.

Bullwinkle Part II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual track was featured prominently in the cult film Pulp Fiction, which thrust this otherwise little know band into the frontal lobes of the American conscience. The track is oddly structured, and very cool. I like the rawness of the original better, but the sense of ensemble here leaves this to be the over all fave.

Steel Pier dotdotdotdot
Impact Surf (Instrumental)

Bob's raw style lends edge to the Impacts' best track. A cool trip into the underbelly of garage surf rants, big and different than the Impacts' version by use of low-E lead instead of a lap steel.

The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Evil Surf (Instrumental)

Not the Dick Dale tune, but an original surf monster full of low grindage. The very heavily reverbed surf progression and melody line are dark and evil. Magnifique!

Pipeline dotdotdot
Wrong Melody Surf (Instrumental)

A raw version, and an incorrectly played melody line. Cool piano, but not remarkable.

Surf War dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lending it's name to the album, this track is a slight variation on a standard surf progression.

Ray Bay dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thee most evil low-E monster ever recorded. Dark, gloomy, ugly, super heavy gage guitar string grind. Wow! It's my favorite Centurions track.

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As above, this track appears on the Myers / Impacts split CD. It is raw and demo-like, but it is a great cover of an often recorded tune.

Kon Tiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A chord progression with tasty accents, but no melody. This track appears on the Myers / Impacts split CD. A rare glimpse into the tracks that Del-Fi left off of the Wipe Out! lp. Rare doesn't always equal great, and the thin sound and real basic progression render this unremarkable. Yet, I find it alluring in a historical sense.