Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wild Ride - A Hot Rod Surf Compilationdotdotdotdot
artwork There are a couple of vocals here, including "White Surf Trash" from the demented The Barbarellatones and Sex With Lurch, a band that has Dave Arnson (Insect Surfers) and Bernard Yin (Brazil 2001) involvement, and the very gloomy and mechanized "Hemi Charger" from Ks K (KillSwitch... Kill), the label founder's long-running band.
Picks: The Barbwires - Coffin Ride, The Biarritz Boys - Sex Wax, The Cocktail Preachers - Drink Donna, Chad Cote and his Corsairs - Surf Symphony, CUTBACK - Witches Rock, DragStrip Riot - Afterburner, Earl and the Losers - Hot Rod, Glasgow Tiki Shakers - Kagoshima Go!, The Invisible Surfers - It Won't Last Forever, The Mercury Four - 911, The Pyronauts - Mike's Barracuda, Retroactive Gamma Rays - Juror #7, The Surfites - Thou Shalt Drag, Surfwaves - Shine On, The TomorrowMen - Requiem For A TomorrowMan

Track by Track Review


The Barbwires - Coffin Ride dotdotdotdot
Eerie Surf (Instrumental)

Big vibrato and charging drums, eerie sound, and fast rolling energy. In many ways, this leans on vintage surf, yet is squarely of the present. Fun and very infectious.

The Biarritz Boys - Sex Wax dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Weird panoramics with drums center, bass and rhythm left, and lead guitar right. The guitar lines here are somewhat reminiscent of The Treble Spankers. Ample spunk and mysterious flair, and a stompin' bridge.

The Cocktail Preachers - Drink Donna dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lumbering bass and drums support inebriated whammy and stinging tone. "Drink Donna" uses an unusual structure for surf. The delicate damped plucking in the break drips out a circular surf riff that's extra cool, perhaps worthy of its own song. Rising to double picked glissandos and runs, it finally settles back into the lumber gate. Very cool.

Chad Cote and his Corsairs - Surf Symphony dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very dark and moody number, particularly in the boomy bass and machine drum sounds. keys provide a sense of orchestra, adding drama to this spatial and dangerous number. "Surf Symphony" attempts to be just what its name implies. Ambitious and fun.

CUTBACK - Witches Rock dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

On the ominous side, and slightly distant, "Witches Rock" creates a bit of discomfort while rumbling with a dark surf edge. The intensity of the emotion in the lead is not displayed prominently enough.

DragStrip Riot - Afterburner dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo vibrates the guitar as the echo simulates the surf sound. Extreme mono murk makes the high energy performance sound like its in a closet at the other end of the gymnasium during a flood. Oddly enough, the din seems to convey much about the song. Surely it would be much more powerful and memorable in a genuine surf arrangement, yet I found that I liked the track a lot anyway.

Earl and the Losers - Hot Rod dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmic pulsing, rock drive, and a very serviceable melody riff that's part rockabilly, part surf, and part rock. The bridge is lifted from Link Wray's "Ace Of Spades." "Hot Rod" is less problematic than the others here from a mix standpoint, though lead left - rhythm right doesn't offer focus.

Glasgow Tiki Shakers - Kagoshima Go! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big whammy chords launch this mid tempo number. It's melody line drops into the pocket gently while the whammy chords speak of the break. The melody, rhythm, and traditional surf beat are infectious. Very cool track!

The Invisible Surfers - It Won't Last Forever dotdotdot
Rock Surf (Instrumental)

This has a spy feel, like those semi-jazz things that used to occupy espionage soundtracks, but it's also much less melodic than many of those. The drums are excellent!

The Mercury Four - 911 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very dark and heavy sludge surf with a threatening pace and muted liquid reverb. "911" plods and churns. The up-glissando is very cool, as is the dribbling lead in the bridge, where the organ employs a kind of carnival sound that adds weirdness to the song. Very cool!

The Pyronauts - Mike's Barracuda dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mike's Barracuda" is richly surf imbedded, rhythmic and splashy, and entirely cool. Great glissandos, and a basic riff driving the wave.

Retroactive Gamma Rays - Juror #7 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark and grumpy, "Juror #7" is based on a circular riff wallowing in menacing murk. Plenty of dark energy and disgruntled attitude. Distortion and edge abound.

The Surfites - Thou Shalt Drag dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drag guitar, surf whammy chords, and a simple melody line. The string slap verse starts add a sense of Dick Dale to this hot rod track. Pretty fun.

Surfwaves - Shine On dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echo provides the impression of surf on the splashy melody line as a straight surf beat keeps time. "Shine On" is a happy number with the curl visible just off the beach where it resides. It has chorus vocals, but is otherwise instrumental.

The TomorrowMen - Requiem For A TomorrowMan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit dark in places, with great tribal drums and raucous energy. Did I mention the drums. I think they really make this track. That doesn't diminish the rest of the players or the writing or anything, but the drums really stand out. Thoroughly cool!