Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Lon Gibby - Fresh Surfdotdotdot
artworkThere are some very interesting things here. Musically, this disc is a blend of surf, European guitar, and synthesizer-like arranging. It's generally reverb free, using delay instead. The drums machine doesn't do justice to the writing, nor does the low-key energy rising from the reverb wash on the track. Listening through the production to the tracks suggests that some very cool music could result from a remix. The writing is superb, as is the arranging.
Picks: San Onofre Theme, Catching On, Warm Sand, South Swell, Laguna Summer, Mexico Surf, Heading Out, Wave Into Eternity, Fresh Surf, A Surfer's Reflection, Surfin' In Snow, 1960's Skateboarder, The Surfer Blues, Maui Romance, The Mysterious Sea, Tubular Tour, The Right Foundation

Track by Track Review


San Onofre Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Layered with muted guitar echoed for delay. Glissandos and whammy and seaside warmth. The melody implies the surf, while the glissandos clearly state it. It's the many layers that give it a non-surf feel, while the song itself is very cool!

Catching On dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Catching On" is reminiscent of "Endless Summer" and other romanticized surf from the period. It's a very soothing and circular track with more echo than reverb.

Warm Sand dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Whammy island pretty, "Warm Sand" is a cool (temperature) track with one foot in surf and the other in travelogues. Very soothing and friendly.

South Swell dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The wash of track reverb and echoed guitar reduce the effectiveness of what seems like a hot track. The rumbling tom toms and bass and fiery guitar seem like they are across the street. The indistinct sound saps the obvious power and manic energy.

Laguna Summer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easy and pretty and sunset fluid, "Laguna Summer" is a well written piece of music. The lovely double picked guitar gently dribbles a rainy afternoon image. Quite nice.

Mexico Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mexico Surf" is a circular traveling piece with an eye on Mexico and the curl. Its warmth and sense of motion are quite nice. The glissandos are delicately placed. Very cool!

Heading Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Heading Out" is an airy track with an adventurous feeling. The melody is very good, and the energy solid. The murkiness of the mix is a little spooky, but is mostly overwhelming.

Wave Into Eternity dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This soft-spoken island of mystery song floats on a many reverbed wash that give it a foggy feeling. Pleasantly soothing at low volumes on a rainy afternoon. There are places where you think of the Sandals, and others where Richard Delvy comes to mind, though it's certainly not derivative of either.

Fresh Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great infectious surf rhythm and a sad floating melody deliver an engaging light weight journey. "Fresh Surf" is a very enjoyable track with excellent writing and playing.

A Surfer's Reflection dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft moodiness and a spatial wash of ambient reverb give "A Surfer's Reflection" the feeling of a lagoon in the fog. It's a nice song looking for better definition.

Surfin' In Snow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very nice surfisms come together in a splendid arrangement diminished in a washed out mix. Lots happening here to keep your interest. Echo used in lieu of lead guitar reverb, giving it a European sound.

1960's Skateboarder dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Musically, "1960's Skateboarder" is a thoroughly enjoyable celebration of skateboarding as it was in the sixties. The joyous melody and energy emote images of the sort seen in Skaterdater. Quite a nice song.

The Surfer Blues dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an average blues jam with reverb and echo. It doesn't stand out at all, or require repeated listening.

Maui Romance dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title might lead you to expect a softly flowing and lovely piece. Alas, that's exactly what you get. "Maui Romance" is a pure pleasure at low volumes, with only the extreme echo marring it at higher volumes. There are places where it reminds me of what might happen if Bruce Johnston's "Makaha At Midnight" was softened a bit.

The Mysterious Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Mysterious Sea" gently rides on a country rhythm. The reverb ambiance works in this case to create a haunted prairie image. I would imagine a different mix would make this rip!

Tubular Tour dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Light hearted traveling music with warmth and a spatial feel. "Tubular Tour" is uplifting and coastal in its imagery. Simply nice.

The Right Foundation dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate and easy, "The Right Foundation" emulates the gentle rocking of the sea as it ebbs and flows on a golden beach. This is really a very nice track.