Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Dynamic Subarashii - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkMuch of the work on this CD is reminiscent of the dryer Ventures sound, and indeed they credit the Ventures as primary influences on the sleeve. The disc displays much more drive and energy than the V-boys, though many arrangements are borrowed wholesale. Overall, a very listenable release with eight solid originals and many well cut covers, very well developed arrangements, and highly polished performances. Highly professional sounding, yet retaining the spirit and drive required for surf. The Dynamic Subarashii are Jim Butler - guitar, Rick Kubly - bass, and Steve Dougherty - drums. The 23rd untitled track is the sea lapping the shore for 41 seconds.
Picks: Tsunami Sunrise, Walk, Don't Run '64, The Cruel Sea, Penetration, Tex-Mex Surf, Nutty, Rock The Surf, Mission Impossible, Cowboy Surf, Apache, Misirlou, Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, Journey To The Stars, Bumble Bee Twist, The Rushin' Bee, Moonlight Over Mombasa, Out Of Limits, Pipeline, Rap City, Surf The Casbah, Surf Rider, Sunset Surf

Track by Track Review


Tsunami Sunrise dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Greeted by a sparkling twang as the track opens, you get a feeling of adventure and optimism, of surf now. Double picked through out, but with non Fender reverb tone and very pretty harmonics. An excellent original track.

Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pretty much right out of the Ventures songbook, but with more crunch and less reverb, almost like the Ventures covering themselves, if you know what I mean. Solid and twangy.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Maxfield's lone claim to fame, this is neither Dakotas nor Ventures like. The multiple guitar parts and added keys fill it in, giving it a thick almost wall of sound feel, with fuzz whammy chords, and a blended mix. The lead is balanced, but not prominent enough to meet the surf test, yet the mix works well for the arrangement.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thin and very Ventures like, inspired by the In Space tweakiness of the extra guitar licks. Thin bass and light guitar tone. Fun, but unremarkable.

Tex-Mex Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This original is crunchy, whammified, and highly rhythmic. All three guitar parts work in harmony, delivering a thick stereo assault of energy and glissandoes. Excellent track!

Nutty dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Credited to Taylor, Bogle, Edwards and Wilson, this is of course a guitar treatment of the B. Bumble and the Stingers' extra fun piano morphing of the "Nutcracker Suite" under the title "Nut Rocker." High fun and drive.

Rock The Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rock The Surf" is an interesting merger of sub metal rock and surf, with harsh Marshall sound and a bit of the briny shore.

Mission Impossible dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of drive and Marshall tone with keys. I just can't get interested. There are just too many covers of Lalo Schifrin's "Mission Impossible" theme, which is just too quirky a song for my taste.

Cowboy Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cowboys in the naugahide saddles of their SUV's ride the range in search of cowgirls and uncharted arroyos. Authentic enough to be from the Austin cauldron, and crunchy enough for the Midwest. The melody line is classic postmodern country rock. Excellent.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This lacks the fluid charm of Jorgen Ingman or liquid art of Jon and the Nightriders, but has an interesting almost pause and go feel to it.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The arrangement is the most interesting part of this. Several guitar parts providing a mesh of sound. like an updated Guitar Ramblers treatment. Fiery and furiously cool. There's the obvious Dick Dale and Jack Marshall influences, but also a tongue in cheek fun that I can only describe as Lawrence Welk inverted. Very good track.

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures arrangement with edge...

Journey To The Stars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick and layered, with extra reverb on the glissandoes. A sorta thrashing of the Ventures's classic. The arrangement, while seemingly borrowed, is loaded with extra goodies that keep it fresh.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" much as the Ventures did it on so many albums. The double picking is quite fluid, with excellent meter. In some ways, it's not unlike the Shi-Tones arrangement.

The Rushin' Bee dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speedy, slightly Cossack, with a noodly semi classical lead. It's rushin' 'cause it runs faster than mercury on a griddle. Flying precision and flash. It may be unmelodic, but there's not much out there that's faster. Yikes!

Moonlight Over Mombasa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brittle twang and a picturesque melody, with a real sense of warm arid nights experienced on safari in a Hummer. Quite nice.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Gordon's classic tune finds crunch and variation in a rock format. Nicely done.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not as sparse as the Ventures, but a long way from the surf, though the wise use of piano keyboard tones is appreciated. The textures all work together well enough, but it just doesn't rise to the first quartile among the hundred or more version of this classic Chantays tune.

Rap City dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures arrangement of Brahms' "Hungarian Rhapsody" is solid, but neither original nor particularly memorable.

Surf The Casbah dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody is only slightly middle eastern sounding, and the tones and approach are quite a distance from the surf, except for the rhythm guitar use. With a little real reverb and Fender tone, this would likely work very well. It is a good instro, but misses the promise of the title. Under a different moniker, I'd be really pleased with it. Good melody line, solid beat, well developed...

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Floating between the Ventures' original "Spudnik" and the definitive Lively Ones "Surf Rider," this is solid and layered with textures and guitars, and worth a spin.

Sunset Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic and mid tempo big guitar rock, pretty in a loud kinda way, with a very good melody line and a lot of development in the arrangement.