Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Dragsters - Stokeddotdotdot
artworkThe Dragsters were an east coast band with a solid sense of melody and a sound dangling between sax oriented surf-n-rod and eighties jangle pop. Often infectious, always competent, the Dragsters album ends up on the sought after list, judging from the inquiries I've received over the years. I'm not really sure why, given its frequently riffy nature, though there are some excellent tracks too.

Vocals include: "Anywhere The Girls Are," "Do The Clam," "Come On Tomorrow," and "Waikiki."
Picks: Dragster Beach, Tractor Pull, Nitro Jungle Woodie, Goldfinger, Radio Surf, Surfing With The Godz, Maria, Gidget Shack / Devil's Town

Track by Track Review


Dragster Beach dotdotdot
Hot Rod Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with creaming engines passing via the Doppler effect, this hard driving twangy track sports lots of power and warmth. The tone is not trad, but the feel is. Excellent track.

Tractor Pull dotdotdot
Mondo Bizarre Surf (Instrumental)

A great guitar riff opens this track, yielding to fuzz vibrato... it's got an Oriental feel, a quirkiness throughout, and a solid sax break. Totally bizarre, and very appealing.

Nitro Jungle Woodie dotdotdot
Fifties Sax (Instrumental)

Riff rockin' instrumental fare, fifties sax leads, and great pounding drums. It's pretty pumped in its own way, yet too riffy for my taste.

Goldfinger dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very fine instrumental treatment of the spy theme. Nothing radical or new, just a solid professional performance.

Radio Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Interesting lead riffology, though not at all surfy. "Radio Surf" is fun, but also unmemorable.

Surfing With The Godz dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big guitar bang and twang rides high in a hard driving bluesy format with nasty sax and ample guitar riffs. A line or two of "Peter Gunn" adds to the experience. Not very melodic, yet it has the power of attraction. The full title is "Full Metal Sax (Surfing With The Godz)."

Maria dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Maria" is from West Side Story. It's a natural for surfing up, since it's melodic and very fluid. The Dragsters use ringing sustained guitar tones, and give it an island quality. This is very pleasing, and gets plenty of response whenever I play it on my show. A fine interpretation, and quite different from either the Mermen or the Slackmates versions.

Gidget Shack / Devil's Town dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Gidget Shack" is a shiny waterfront instro, with sax and ringing chords. "Devil's Town," on the other hand, is a slower saucy waterfront bar epic with laughter and a snarling sax. They go together like oil and vinegar.