Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Hawaii Samurai - The Octopus Incidentdotdotdotdot
artworkThe new release from Hawaii Samurai is loaded with 24 "unreleased songs, live tracks and covers." There are some very compelling covers here, and all great performances. If you're enticed by loud intense instros, you'll find a bond here.
Picks: Proud To Be A Cryptic Surfer, Criminal Wave, Psycho Beach Party, Too Drunk To Surf, Batman Theme, Penetration, Exotic, La Bruta, Ali Baba, Rumble, Run Chicken Run, Pipeline, Bustin' Surfboards, Intoxica, Bullwinkle Part II, Wipe Out, Hot Doggin', Surf Rider, Pintor, Dark Eyes, Shake-N-Stomp, Miserlou, Pacific Darkside, Surfin' With Betty

Track by Track Review


Proud To Be A Cryptic Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Insane! The drums roll maniacally, the bas follows suit, and the guitar double picks a relentless circulating melody line, all while shouts permeate the track, leaving one with the feeling it's surf's up at the asylum. That's just the opening verse. The song has a dark melody and even a mournful chorus. This is definitely disturbed.

Criminal Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick and grindy, "Criminal Wave" is more of a monster rock instro than surf, though that doesn't mean it's not surf. Double picked intensity and a solid melody, and the drums rock!

Psycho Beach Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy dark chords paint a dangerous picture, while the bass and drums drive hard. The guitar lines are more rock than surf at times, and yet the imagery is clearly very risky storm surf and a shortboard rider fighting to stay out of the rocks.

Too Drunk To Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Too Drunk To Surf" is more of s riff song than melodic, and it's clearly a dangerous scene. It doesn't sound inebriated, but the rider is clearly in danger. Quite nervous and ominous.

Batman Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Neil Hefty's TV theme is delivered more harshly than most covers of this song. Intense and loud and dangerous, and lacking the usual silliness of the song. Quite nice.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a heavy churning version of the Pyramids' "Penetration," with harsh edge replacing delicacy. It changes the song from a delicate infectious reverb epic to a churning rhythmic thrasher. Very nicely done.

Exotic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hawaii Samurai cover the Dave Myers and the Surftones version of "Exotic," with added bongos. Heavy and pulsing, with a dark edge. Quite powerful. This reminds me of Japan's El Caminos in some ways.

La Bruta dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a riff rocker, like heavy duty frat rock with an attitude. Shouts of "la bruta" add to the ambiance.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a hard driving cover of Dave and the Customs' glorious "Ali Baba." It sounds perhaps like the Camp OJ version, but a little less meaty. Very aggressive and powerful, with added bongos.

Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A clicky sample of mayhem precedes a large and uneasy version of Link Wray and his Raymen's "Rumble." Uneasy not from a listenability standpoint, but because it is disturbing, like impending mayhem in an asylum.

Run Chicken Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A billion covers of this song, and all seem to be different. This one has a frantic back ally brawl sound to it. Very intense.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Perhaps the most unusual of all of the opening glissandos for this song is found here. Choked and disturbed, it rightly foretells of the hard driving performance to come. Not as intensely relentless as the Neon Spores version, but certainly as edgy and powerful. Huge and chunky.

Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Hollywood) Tornadoes' gutty and dangerous "Bustin' Surfboards" is oozed out with sting and style. Not much like the original aurally, but very cool.

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spunk version of Neal Nissensen and Robert J. Hafner's "Intoxica" (a.k.a. "Intoxico"). Party twango with shouts and fun.

Bullwinkle Part II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine cover of the Centurions' most famous song (via Pulp Fiction), "Bullwinkle Part II." Slow and moody, nasty and ominous, and ringing with reverb whammy. Great sax, and an overall sullenness. Very cool.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a dirty rock cover of the Surfaris' "Wipe Out." While it's well done, and the texture is fairly unique, it doesn't rise to the level of the original.

Hot Doggin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a decent version of the Astronauts' bouncy and rhythmic "Hot Doggin'," but with more edge than charm. Tuff and loud.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Edgy, and yet smooth, Nokie Edwards' "Surf Rider" gets an interesting treatment that's part way between surf and rock.

Pintor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Amps turned up to 20, fiesta shouts, rock solid bass, and great drums. This is a very nice version of the Pharos' classic. Wonderful intense whammy chords and lots of power.

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I can't think of another really heavy and intense version of "Dark Eyes." Thoroughly loud and in your face. Excellent!

Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a heavy and hard driving cover of Dick Dale and his Del-tones' "Shake-N-Stomp." Very strong, with hand claps and title shouts. The sax adds a sense of vintage authenticity, while the tone is clearly intense modern.

Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very straightforward arrangement of "Miserlou" is rightly the choice for Hawaii Samurai, given their intensity and aggression. The sax adds a touch of reality, and the band whoops and hollers. Great double picking.

Pacific Darkside dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Murky live sound split bass left and treble right should be mono in my opinion, but beneath that lies a thrashy guitar attack that's hard driving and aggressive, with more nerve than discretion. Fast double picking and edgy tone, with some nasty sax. Very frat surf-ish.

Surfin' With Betty dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' With Betty" is a cool song that's relentless and intense, but the very murky sound hides its power.