Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Halibuts - Halibut Beachdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the first grand album from the Halibuts, issued in 1983. It features a bevy of fine surf instros in the unique heavily ska influenced style that set the Buts apart from the crowd in those heady early days of the surf revival. It even came with 3-D glasses to aid in seeing the depth of their art. A great record.
Picks: Mr. Mysterioso, Halibut Stomp, Jetstream, Little Old Ladies Never Cut Back, Deathwave, Exodus Five-0, Malibu Run, Monster Surfing Time, Church Key, Surf Rider

Track by Track Review

Mr. Mysterioso dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Super chunky ska based surf, with sax lead on a highly infectious track. The melody is strong, and itŐs hard to stand still while they rave up on this number. The middle break, with the pure surf tone, comes to a stop before slamming back into the sax ska. On the second pass through the break, the surf guitar drops onto the low-E and sports numerous powerful glissandoes. Great track!

Halibut Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sax and guitar twin leads, with a backtrack based on Moon Dawg, and many spirited intersections with other familiar themes. Great fun.

Jetstream dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thumping drums, great rolling bass, and round guitar create a near tropical air with this majorly fun tune. The rolling thunder of the toms is powerful, and the Caribbean sax lines are infectious.

Little Old Ladies Never Cut Back dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In a variation on the Jan & Dean tune, the Buts create a fascinating sound with the damped rhythm guitar. Totally cool fun. faster than the original by a lot, this is highly infectious and way too fun. The sax accompaniment adds a meanness, while the oriental theme break gives it a surreal air. Great track.

Deathwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funeral home surf, opening with a dirge sequence, then dropping immediately to an uplifting thrill ride melody and fast paced track. The sax break is back alley mean, while the rest of the track is playful and spirited. Fine track.

Exodus Five-0 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This merger of the melody from theme from Exodus and the backtrack from theme from Hawaii Five-0 is brilliant. The subtle ska arrangement is pretty funny, and the fast pace totally changes the character of the tune. High times at the edge of silliness. Great

Malibu Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sax lead and a major ska arrangement totally change the character of this Fender Four song. The thunder of the rhythm section is very strong, and the infectious percussion is brilliant. Very fine, complete reincarnation of a great lost classic from 1965.

Monster Surfing Time dotdotdot
Halloween Surf (Instrumental)

Is this from the VeeJay album of that title? Sure sounds like it. Halloween silliness, monster sounds, and effected lead guitar, all playing together in a simple structure with a playful melody. This sounds like a Joe South melody to me. Too fun.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Faster than life version of the RevelsŐ classic Church Key, pushed beyond its limits, shredding its way into your soul. The racing pace makes this a nerve-wracking track. ItŐs full of surfisms, and splendid energy. It was recorded live at the Music Machine July 3, 1983.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Also recorded live at the Music Machine July 3, 1983, this is a pretty trad version of Surf Rider, except itŐs a bit faster, and features the keyboards in the third verse. Chunky and fun.