Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wax 'Em Downdotdotdot
artworkNine fine surf instros grace the grooves of this bootleg compilation. Some are seldom heard, and with the inclusion of the yet to be issued from tape "Casbah" (Sandy Nelson), this becomes a recommended acquisition. The surprise find is the instrumental version of "Beach Girls and the Monster" (Frank Sinatra Jr.'s Music). The five vocals included are the good party fun of "Beach Party" (Dave York and the Beachcombers), the insipid studio wah-wah of "Powder Puff" (City Surfers), the sloppy "Surf Fever" (Cornells), the trashy "Blower Scoop" (Phil and the Flakes), and the black and white B-movie madness of "Beach Girls and the Monster" (vocal version).
Picks: Wax 'Em Down, Sea and Shore, Phantom Surfer, Surf Blast, Beach Girls and the Monster, Surfari, Casbah, Sour Grapes, Bad

Track by Track Review


Wax 'Em Down dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Avantis most familiar single "Wax 'Em Down" is a dry guitar chamber reverbed adventure in the surf culture. The waxing sound effects (wood sawing) and the basic progression issue forth a simpler more innocent view of surf music. Great drums, raw guitar, subservient organ, and a catchy riff are all here. A fine track.

Sea and Shore dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a nice early surf version of "Sorento" ("Sea and Shore"). Whammy, twang, delicate double picking, and a walking bass line, and an "aahh" chorus line. Pretty cool.

Phantom Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great reverbed double picking, splashy guitar, and an organ whirling underneath. Great drums and rock solid bass. "Phantom Surfer" is a really infectious tune.

Surf Blast dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While strictly a riff rocker, this surf tune is quite infectious, with splashy guitar and a nasty sax out front. Lots of energy and plenty of changes. In some ways, it's like a minor Eddie and the Showmen track.

Beach Girls and the Monster dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite an amazing track. I'm sure Frank Sinatra Jr.'s had little to do with it, but it sure doesn't sound like a studio session band either. Heavy vibrato lead guitar, raspy sax, throbbing bass, and great drums. The melody is very cool too. The track has a minor meanness about it.

Surfari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Surfari" is a really cool high energy number that has been only narrowly circulated and covered even more rarely. It has a bunch of energy, great low-E double picked leads and a solid helping of hooks. Great track

Casbah dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damn near the best surf single ever, and certainly Sandy Nelson's best track. The brilliant surf guitar work is from my personal favorite studio player Richie Podolor. This single kicks major hind quarter. Fast rippin' tune delivered like a machine gun. Amazingly good! It's been in my top ten for 32 years now.

Sour Grapes dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More twang than surf, yet significantly interesting in a sub-spy kinda way, "Sour Grapes" is infectious and reminiscent of a Euro-surf merger.

Bad dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Reverbed big chord riff surf, with excellent drums and a stomp mentality. The sax break is more frat than surf, but the rest is intense and rhythmic. Pretty cool.