Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Eliminators - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkI first heard LA's Eliminators on Tri-Surf Records' Planet Surf CD. Since then, I've played "Bone Cruncher" umpteen times on Surf's Up! A few years back I saw them in Santa Cruz, and I was completely blown away! They were very powerful, authentic as hell, played gorgeous vintage equipment (drool), and had a delivery like none since the Original Surfaris! I had the opportunity to record them at a long board wing ding in Santa Cruz at the National Guard Armory. I also recorded them when they returned to Santa Cruz for the first annual Woodies On The Wharf. Leader Preston Wilson plays a great rhythm guitar, Joe Kurkowski plays a killer lead, Frank Hughes plays a solid surf bass, Doug Harlow plays his brand new drums, and Billy Swanson is the best vintage surf sax player I've heard in years, and I usually don't like horns at all, save for Steve Douglas' classic surf squonks on songs like "Banzai Washout." They understand the genre like guys who were there in '62, and they play like guys who are in a major hurry to pummel their audience. Incredibly powerful, masterfully performed genuine surf for the 90's and beyond! There is no more perfect an example of a vintage surf band recorded in the 90's! Only "Moment of Truth," "Latin'ia," and "The Lonely Sea" made it to their album in final form.
Picks: Moment Of Truth, Latin'ia, Moovin' and Groovin', Baja, Sleep Walk, Pipeline, Apache, Our Favorite Martian, Night Scene, Penetration, The Lonely Sea

Track by Track Review

Moment Of Truth dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' arrangement of this classic, enhanced with glissandoes and power picking. Nice track.

Latin'ia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Competent treatment of Tommy Nuñes' gorgeous "Latiñia." It's not an attempt to recreate the original, which is good, because it can't be topped. It is accented with fine bongos, and employs beautiful Fender tones. Very good listening.

Moovin' and Groovin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Duane Eddy's hit reverently placed on tape. This track did not make it to the album. Nothing special.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another track that avoided release on their "Unleashed" album, this is a fine cover, very much in the Astronauts' groove, but with really cool damped leads and surf whammy.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another cover, and left off of the album. Not that it's a poor take of Santo and Johnny's tune, but it's just too often done. Joe Kurkowski's playing is quite tasty.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Punchy, spiffy, clean, driven, shimmering... and Billy Swanson's sax in lieu of the Chantays' piano is a nice touch. Nothing really new, but quite tasty none the less.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With extra surf chop, Jorgen Ingman's version of this fine tune takes on a whole new edge and watery feel. Love the reverb!

Our Favorite Martian dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Our Favorite Martian" is not as intense as Bobby Fuller's original, but rhythmic and chunky.

Night Scene dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is wonderful, and it's too damn bad that it didn't make it to their album. This is a great song anyway, originally cut by the Rumblers, and with the extra reverb chop, it's even more moody and dramatic.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Reverent rendition of the Pyramids' classic. Nothing special happening here, and the performance is a bit tentative.

The Lonely Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Acoustic guitar, gentle delivery, artful playing, soft tones... it's all too pretty and dusk light romantic.