Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Fradkin and Get Wet - A Day At The Beachdotdotdot
artworkThe reissue of 2001's A Day At The Beach features two bonus live tracks. The CD is quite satisfying. It's a much more sophisticated album than the first, carefully sequenced to tell a continuing story. More orchestral, the album wanders through surf and rock into MOR and back, finally landing in an embraced entanglement, soft and sweetly ending a day at the beach. This release took a few listenings to grow on me, but in the end, it is interesting and adventurous.
Picks: A Day At The Beach, Kick Sand, Pintor, Key West Sunset, Nature Calls, Good Vibrations, The Dirt Surfers Get Wet, Wave Rider, Beck's Bolero, Hurricane Warning, Joy Of Man's Desiring, The Bridge Across Forever, Bombora, Reverbia

Track by Track Review

A Day At The Beach dotdotdot
Classical Rock (Instrumental)

"A Day At The Beach" is an intense track with a warm melody line and a driving rhythm. Classically influenced, rock driven, and fluid. Big whammy and swirly guitar effects. This will grow on you.

Kick Sand dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

A "Let's Go" beat opens "Kick Sand," but it quickly moves into a hard driving thick number with a Ventures-like melody line. Powerful and dramatic. The delicate break is an interesting left turn from the main body of the piece.

Pintor dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The Pharos' "Pintor" is warmly revamped in psychedelic swirl. The tune demonstrates its flexibility as Get Wet gives it a postmodern sound, with delicately played leads and cautious optimism.

Key West Sunset dotdotdot
Classical Rock (Instrumental)

With the pomp of a Roy Orbison tune and the warmth of the sun, "Key West Sunset" flows gently and smoothly in an almost MOR vein, while portraying swaying palms and liquid nights.

Nature Calls dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hardly invoking images of potty breaks, "Nature Calls" moves slowly across a freeway rest stop to vista point with a Mexican feel and classical air. Pretty darn cool piece of writing.

Good Vibrations dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The Beach Boys' poppy "Good Vibrations" retains the west coast hipsters' intent, while "suaving" into a fanciful scene. Structured much like a film score to run under credits, this track is completely reinvented and modern.

The Dirt Surfers Get Wet dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Doug Cornell of the Dirt Surfers plays lead and rhythm guitar on this track. Double picking, surf rhythms, and an infectious power.

Wave Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Perhaps more inline with post surf guitarists like Gary Hoey without the wank, "Wave Rider" is at times rhythmic and surfy, and at others modern rock fluid. The infectious melody and rhythm in the main body of the piece work very well.

Beck's Bolero dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

I always thought "Beck's Bolero" was a little wimpy, especially when compared to Joe Walsh's adventurous treatment with the James Gang. Get Wet seems to merge some of each for a strong performance and interesting treatment. The Ravel society would probably disapprove, but then they did cause the James Gang version to be pulled, didn't they.

Hurricane Warning dotdotdot
Surf Disco (Instrumental)

In an unusual twist, a semi-surf melody is played over the top of what is essentially a seventies disco beat and effects. Personally, I'd like to see a different treatment of the melody, because it seems to beg for less lushness and more surf edge.

Joy Of Man's Desiring dotdotdot
Tech Surf (Instrumental)

This latest track is quite similar to Get Wet's earlier work. Les rages on guitar with mighty furious fingers. Aggressive modern effected guitar assault on classical music, with lots of drive, and some references to surf.

The Bridge Across Forever dotdotdot
Acoustic (Instrumental)

Soft acoustic guitar, synthesized strings, lush sound, and an evening serenade feel. Very pretty.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a solidly tuffed out performance of the Original Surfaris' classic "Bombora," with some embellishments. While less intense than the original, its modern edge and well metered delivery are quite powerful.

Reverbia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine live take of one of Get Wet's coolest originals. Surf with edge replacing reverb. The glissandoes run like water. Great drums too!