Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The El Caminos - Surfer's Loungedotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the reissue version of El Caminos, with extra tracks and remixes. A totally cool release worth tracking down!
Picks: Exotic, Sumo Wrestler, El Emporador, Big Surf, Ho-Nest, Pachuko Soul, Horchata, Exodus, Apollo, Highway 101, Swingin' Piper Soul, Casbah, Sumo Wrestler, Crash, Intoxica

Track by Track Review


Exotic dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Bob Vaught arrangement with the drums way-way back in the mix. The huge guitar sound overcomes this. Very edgy.

Sumo Wrestler dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A jerky stomp number with an OK melody. Big sound and Dick Dale flourishes.

El Emporador dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow coolness, moody and mysterious, with Spanish island imagery. The electronic noises are eerie - unnatural.

Big Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A major power version of the Sentinals' killer tune. Even bigger and more ominous than the original.

Ho-Nest dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Titled Hornet's Nest on the Del-Fi release, this track features a big Dick Dale / Surf Coasters style melody and a big delivery. The keys detract from the cohesion.

Pachuko Soul dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Soul Kings and The Rhythm Kings used to do this. It is as close as you get to the definitive song of the Latin band dance craze the Soul that the surfers picked up on so heavily in sixty-three. The keys play the lead in lieu of the horn section it was written for.

Horchata dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spring reverb on the drums in the intro doesn't really work, but the "Tequila"-based rhythm track is nice, and the damped lead is quite cool.

Exodus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Lively Ones arrangement of the movie theme, with more energy and less sting. The rhythm is heavier too.

Apollo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big toms and harsh reverbed guitar stingers, plus a big guitar exotic power. Pretty intense.

Highway 101 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mighty fine and very surfy cover of the Hollywood Surfers's "Highway 101" originally on their Surf Family LP. Heavy surf rhythm and a vintage moderate pace drives this track as if it's still 1964. Thoroughly cool!

Swingin' Piper Soul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al Garcia's band the Soul Kings cut this Pachuko Soul classic a long time ago. Largely overlooked, this brand of surf is extra soulful, and the El Caminos really do it justice. Excellent groove with cool organ and splash!

Casbah dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Podolor's ultra cool "Casbah" is nicely done. Where most drive it like there's no tomorrow, the El Caminos take a smoother and more rhythmic road. This is a really grand version, with crashing reverbs and absolutely great drums! Lots of ambient splash and a huge sound. Wonderful!

Sumo Wrestler dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Where the original mix was good, this treatment of "Sumo Wrestler" is huge in a bath of room reverb and impossibly compressed crashes. It's a monster of dark stomping coolness!

Crash dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not often covered, this is a fine rendition of the Creations's splendid "Crash" with a big heavy beat and lots of reverb! There's plenty of surf thunder to capture your imagination, and even more to hold it. Great stuff!

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Neal Nissensen and Robert J. Hafner wrote this back in the day when lots of bands did it. These days, not many do. The El Caminos blend it with elements of "Church Key" for a fresh sound and fury. Great party anthem!