Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Del Mars - Surf Monkeydotdotdot
artworkSurf Monkey is a nice album of surfish instros and vocals. There are several tracks here I like a lot. It's not surf in the traditional sense. No double picked guitars, no shimmering reverb. It does have a coastal vision and it resides really close to the idiom. Just one general observation... several of the tracks have their power and effect diminished by over compression of the drums.
Picks: Party Wave, Beach Walk, Go Retrograde, Playa con Dios, Riptide, Mr. Moto, Surf Ballroom '59, The Sirens Sing Apache

Track by Track Review


Party Wave dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a remixed version of "Party Wave" with rhythm guitar delay-panned, which creates more space and surf rhythm feel. It's a relatively dry surfable instro with a playful sound. The song has the general feel of eighties surf instros, but not exactly. Quite fun.

Beach Walk dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This rock instro has a surfable feel to it. The surf beat is carried on kick instead of snare, and the melody has a coastal feeling to it. "Beach Walk" is a very enjoyable track.

Go Retrograde dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Go Retrograde" sports a slightly wet Stax-Volt sound, though it's more melodic than many songs to come from that stable. The surf pattern in the transition to the sax break is tasteful, as is the sax. Kind of go-go, kind of soul, and fun too.

Playa con Dios dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Playa con Dios" is a gently flowing track with a degree of intensity. Its Spanish flavor and soulful bass add up to a cool track, especially as the two guitars work off one another. I'm liking this.

Riptide dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Panned delayed rhythm and sax honks create a sort soul surf sound. The lead melody is open and tasteful. The sax verse is very nice too. "Riptide" grows on you.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's classic "Mr. Moto" is punchy and thumpy, and the sax verse is very good, especially how it uses the guitars behind. The intro feels all wrong to me, and the drums seem over compressed. Criticism aside, this is a fun track with a beefy sound.

Surf Ballroom '59 dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Surf Ballroom '59" is rhythmic and rock oriented. Tremolo rhythm and an urban spaghetti western melody riff add up to an intriguing track. Very nice!

The Sirens Sing Apache dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"The Sirens Sing Apache" is more or less based on the Jorgen Ingmann recording of Jerry Lordan's "Apache," though aurally similar to The Shadows at times. This version adds female chorus (the sirens). It's a unique way to modify this over-recorded song, bringing back to freshness.