Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Michael Z. Gordon and the Routers - Surf Or Diedotdotdotdot
artworkThis is either an interesting vault discovery or a concoction. I suspect the former, but who knows?. These are mono extractions from acetates probably, presumably of Michael Z. Gordon fronting The Routers on what sound like three demos, plus The Challengers' "K-39" under a different title. A couple saw release under different credits.
Picks: Killer Surf

Track by Track Review


Do The Mess Around dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a trashy variant of Ray Charles' "Do The Mess Around." It's a studio rock jam with only tangential references to surf. It almost sounds like an outtake from the Bruce Johnston Surfers Stomp sessions. Very unremarkable.

Surf Or Die dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine melody in the conceptual sound of the Mar-Kets, "Surf Or Die" may be among the best of the material from the Joe Saraceno-Michael Z. Gordon collaborations.

With needle drop noise at the front and lock groove noise at the end, "Surf Or Die" is poorly digitized.

Rumble dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Despite its title here, this is not Link Wray and his Raymen's "Rumble." This was issued as "Rumble At Newport Beach" as by Mike Gordon and the Agates.

This is very much rock instro of the melody free progression variety, like so many fifties instros. It has no relationship to surf, other than the presumed title link. It's just a party jam. Mike Gordon wrote "Out Of Limits" for the Mar-Kets.

Killer Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is actually The Challengers' hit superb single K-39, though here it's attributed to Michael Z. Gordon & The Routers.

This is one of those must have surf instros. It begins cleanly and calmly, but rapidly evolves a high energy spirit, due in part to the rabid drumming of Hal Blaine, the wailing sax from Steve Douglas, and the evolving double picked guitar leads. It wails and hollers. A great track. It is so different from the original early version!