Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Denvermen - Let's Go Surfside With The Denvermendotdotdot
artworkWow! 30 tracks from Australia's Denvermen, plus one unreleased take from a post-Denvermen lineup. This must be the complete instrumental works of the band, some in both stereo and mono. Great release, with liner notes from Steve McParland.
Picks: Outback, The Mexican, Surfside, Lisa Maree, Nightrider, Blue Mountain, Avalon Stomp, Harbour Cruise, Stomp Fever, The Sun Seeker, Mystery Wave, Spanish Sands, The Rebel, Vaquero, Surfers Blues, The Proud Ones, Route #1, She's Gone, Surf City Stomp, On The Beach, Mystery Wave, Surfside Romance, Ho-Dad, Surfer's Cha Cha, Back Rip, Let's Go Surfin', Spanish Sands, Quiet Beach, Surf Patrol, Surfer's Blues, Summer Siesta

Track by Track Review


Outback dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This early rumbler from the Denvermen is mean and deeper than most of their instros, with a dark inversion of Duane Eddy's sound, non too subtly pushed to a dangerous brink. The break is carried by a nasty, if primitive sax. A great track!

Originally HMV single EA-4491.

The Mexican dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

"The Mexican" owes a great deal to the echoed Shadows sound, but is also more edgy. The melody doesn't really imply Mexico or Spanish themes, though there is a bit of an El Cid feel here and there. Quite dramatic.

Originally HMV single EA-4491.

Surfside dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Islandic sock hop slow dance romantic guitar instro with surf sounds. It nearly makes it into the crying guitar category. Very pretty and smooth. Originally HMV single EA-4506, "Surfside" went to number one on the Australian charts.

Lisa Maree dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Damped pluckery, Shadows-ish guitar tone, tribal drums, and an infectious melody line. Not really surf, yet quite accessible and aquatic. Sultry and cool. "Lisa Maree" was the B-side of "Surfside."

Nightrider dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Gunshots ring out, then a galloping rhythm track kicks in to support a light weight but fun melody line. A little on the fluff side, yet quite credible, "Nightrider" is a tastefully done slightly gimmicky track with significant appeal.

Blue Mountain dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

As the title implies, this is a soft and pretty bit of guitar romance. "Blue Mountain" was the hit side of HMV EA-4545, backed by "Nightrider," and was a top twenty hit in 1963.

Avalon Stomp dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a moderately interesting track with a more or less American pop single sound. Close to the Duane Eddy envelope, "Avalon Stomp" peaked at number 5 in 1963, backed with "Harbour Cruise."

Harbour Cruise dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Another slow dance romancer destined for the B-side, "Harbour Cruise" is pretty, but unremarkable.

Stomp Fever dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

"Stomp Fever" was the first single issued after the Denvermen switched to RCA from HMV. It's launched by rolling drums and a menacing dry surf rhythm guitar and almost Atlantics' lead. Quite powerful and haunting!

The Sun Seeker dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

the flip side of "Stomp Fever," this song reached only to number 31 in Oz, and was their last charting single. It's a very pretty Shadows influenced song. For my money, the wrong side charted.

Mystery Wave dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Pure Shadows ethic, and a military beat. haunting and enjoyable, it wreaks Hank Marvin influences, both in guitar tone and arrangement. No surf at all in the classic American sense, but a lot more than just a Shadows clone.

Spanish Sands dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Acoustic guitar solo, a pretty Spanish style melody, and a very gentile delivery. This is quite a nice track.

The Rebel dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

"The Rebel" is a racing piece in the Atlantics' frantic drums and pace mold. The strings dampen the spirit of the track, as do the horns, but it's still a tuff rocker.

Vaquero dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty straight dry treatment of one of the Fireballs' coolest songs. It's very well played and enjoyable.

Surfers Blues dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Deep throated Duane Eddy meets the "Restless Wind" on a dock. Surfable and moody.

The Proud Ones dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Bouncy pop fluff with strings and light weight rim work. Pretty and fluid, and way too poppy.

Route #1 dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This Duane Eddy tune is country fried with a bouncy pop lilt. Completely forgettable.

She's Gone dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"She's Gone" is a quirky Shadows tune done in a bit of a gimmicky way.

Surf City Stomp dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting blending of the Shadows sound and the surf sound. Much more oriented to the Euro instro sound, it does have some of the feel of the surf. The guitar employs echo in lieu of reverb, and the rhythm guitar is dry. The drums roll and thunder. This is a great track, but not very close to surf.

On The Beach dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Adding shore break sounds to an echoed guitar playing a Euro melody does not make it surf. It is a fine track though, with a solid melody and a pleasing overall sound.

Mystery Wave dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Pure Shadows ethic, and a military beat. haunting and enjoyable, it wreaks Hank Marvin influences, both in guitar tone and arrangement. No surf at all in the classic American sense, but a lot more than just a Shadows clone.

Surfside Romance dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really slow Euro instro, pretty, but mostly a backdrop. Very gentle.

Ho-Dad dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

The Shadows' sound abounds here, though slightly more gutty. The melody is almost spaghetti western influenced,... just a hint. Great drums and energy.

Surfer's Cha Cha dotdotdot
Oz Cha Cha Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfer's Cha Cha" is an odd light weight instro with a cha cha rhythm and a Shadows-like melody and sound.

Back Rip dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a nice track, slow and almost Indian flavored. It is pretty gentle, but you can imagine a rippin' surf cover. The melody is sad and fluid. I presume "back rip" means "rip tide."

Let's Go Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

The lead guitar's Duane Eddy whammy dips and vibrato are cool, and just a bit meaner than most of Eddy's tracks. The back track is fairly light, yet "Let's Go Surfin'" is quite a nice track.

Spanish Sands dotdotdot
Acoustic Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is an earlier version of "Spanish Sands" from 1963, and in stereo. It seems much more interesting than the 1964 take. Acoustic guitar solo, a pretty Spanish style melody, and a very gentile delivery. This is quite a nice track.

Quiet Beach dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Swimming whammy, Hank Marvin tone, and a slow pace. Pretty, but unremarkable.

Surf Patrol dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

This is damn close to the Shadows' "FBI." The melody is a bit different, but the backtrack is right on the money. It's not quite as fluffy as "FBI," but it is very friendly. Derivative, but enjoyable.

Surfer's Blues dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfer's Blues" is a really slow number, with a big Duane Eddy sound. It's also extremely close to John D. Loudermilk's "What Am I Living For."

Summer Siesta dotdotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

"Summer Siesta" is from Les Green and the Sundowners. Les Green was the Denvermen's lead guitarist. The track is undated and previously unreleased. It's a tasteful track with a bit of Spanish horn fluff in the intro, and a great melody with bull fight written all over it. I'm guessing it's post-Denvermen from the sound.