Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dr. Surf - Who Is Dr. Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkVentura's Dr. Surf is a very inventive band with their feet firmly in surf, but with no illusions of boundaries. They use other genres in creative and very engaging ways, enhancing the surf sound in new and inventive ways that really sound good. I like this a lot.
Picks: Enter The Green Room, Riptide, Tarantulas, La Reve, La Plage, Earth Surfer, Gidget Gets Laid, The Zombies Awaken, Them from "Zombies de L'Amoure", Suicide Bay, Driving In Baja, I Love La Fonda

Track by Track Review


Enter The Green Room dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A reverbed second guitar lays out an ominous one-note sequence while the lead guitar shimmers with a very cool melody line. "Enter The Green Room" is dramatic and heavy, while sporting a delicate sense. The long chords add dramatic flair. A solid beat rounds out the track. Very nice, and quite original.

Riptide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very original interpretation of the Impact V's "Riptide." The textures are all different, and the arrangement is very affective. The sax break is very sixties. There are few covers of this obscuro, let alone truly fresh ones. Very cool!

Tarantulas dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tumbling tom toms and dangerous guitar lines bring on a song that's highly dependent on the rhythm section. Reminiscent of Get Wet's "White Sands" at times, "Tarantulas" is powerful and full. By the middle, it's soaring dramatically.

La Reve dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft and lush, with electric piano in tow and seagulls calling as the shorebreak laps at the sand, this moody piece brings on an image of allowing the shore to take away your scars. Quite pretty. "La Reve" acts as an intro to "La Plage."

La Plage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"La Plage" is a soft instrumental with French narratives that are exactly right for the sidewalk cafe sound of the song. Romantic and cool.

Earth Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmers and guitar tensions rise as "Earth Surfer" comes forth. The song is interesting in the contrast between the Doors "Riders On the Storm" keyboard sound and the modern guitar tone and lines. Dramatic in a sweeping panoramic kind of way. Very pretty at times.

Gidget Gets Laid dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an endless summer chord feeling and misty guitar tone, "Gidget Gets Laid" is pretty to listen to, but not very memorable. The bongos are cool, and the romantic notions in the music very affective. The chorus is where it left me behind.

The Zombies Awaken dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The creaking of the masts of a ghost ship and the cries of it's victims as the wolves howl in the distance introduces horror film organ before giving way to theremin weirdness and cool guitar lines. That might sound like a cheesy description, and normally that's just what it would imply, but "The Zombies Awaken" really works well, and is very entertaining in a serious piece of music way. Not stellar, just engaging and very enjoyable, and it will bring you back for a second listening.

Them from "Zombies de L'Amoure" dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Twanging whammified chords and theremin wails as "Them from "Zombies de L'Amoure"" continue the theme of "The Zombies Awaken." As the track before it, this is a fine piece of filmic music that's not gimmicky in its use of theremin.

Suicide Bay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jon and the Nightriders' "Suicide Bay" is reinvented significantly. It's very strange, with keyboard-induced horns giving it a spy-movie sound, and a whistling organ. The shear oddness of the arrangement compared to the original intention of the song makes it compelling, and the arrangement, strangely enough, works on its own with out that contrast. very cool!

Driving In Baja dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Acoustic guitar, almost Mediterranean sounding, yields to scratchy radio noises and distant discussion between surfers about the surf just coming into reach. "Driving In Baja" is an aural painting, but not a song.

I Love La Fonda dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Derived from "Don't Fear The Reaper," with marimbas and mariachi stylings added, "I Love La Fonda" is a seriously original song that's artful, creative, and richly textured. Very nice, and a complete change of pace.