Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: What Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThe first of the legendary What Surf series was issued in 1984. It collects works from surf legends Agent Orange, Davie Allan and the Arrows, the Halibuts, the Pyramids, and the Surf Raiders. An eclectic collection of surf for surf fans, spanning surf punk, trad surf, revival surf, surf ska, and biker surf. A great collection. Incidentally, the cover art was reversed for the second pressing in 1986. Gotta have this comp!
Picks: Surf Beat, Paul, Jetstream, Polyurethane, Wave Walk'n', James Bond Theme / Goldfinger, Long Ride, Pyramid Stomp, Mr. Moto, Out Of Limits

Track by Track Review


Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In their chunkiest most compressed style, Agent Orange deliver the goods with this superfine surf punk version of the classic Dick Dale tune. It's as dynamic and energetic as ever you'd expect. A great track.

Paul dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul who? The track is a solid surf instro, though mostly jam inspired.

Jetstream dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thumping drums, great rolling bass, and round guitar create a near tropical air with this majorly fun tune. The rolling thunder of the toms is powerful, and the Caribbean sax lines are infectious. This version is more ska, less surf, and, while quite different, just as solid and fun.

Polyurethane dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Later retitled Polycarbonate, this grand track oozes fuzz drenched surf biker soul. Noisy, edgy, and right in the pocket.

Wave Walk'n' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Smooth trad surf, with organ added. This is a melodic and warm track, with the kind of draw that brings you back for more.

James Bond Theme / Goldfinger dotdotdot
Spy (Instrumental)

Davie Allan brings his marvelous fuzzola to the land of espionage. Davie always morphs the original intent when he attacks a song, and he always picks melodic song to ply his craft with. Big time fun, melodic intensity, biker spies afoot in the pre-crumbling wall days of Berlin.

Long Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Johnny Barakat & the Vestells' "Long Ride" is delivered very true to the original, except for the sound quality. An excellent cover, well played and really surfy.

Pyramid Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The obligatory self-named theme... most bands had one then... "Dick Dale Stomp," "Surfaris Stomp," etc. A much more rough and tumble track than "Penetration." Cool!

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Overbearing sax (in the mix too loud) mars this track, but otherwise, the performance is quite sound. Paul Johnson's classic delivered as it should be.

Out Of Limits dotdotdotdotdot
Skate Surf Punk (Instrumental)

Without a doubt, when Agent Orange issues a surf instro, it is a sound that demands attention. This high energy chunk meister blasts forth with the power of the largest storm surf, and the danger of shooting the pier on a tsunami. Wow.