Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Gary Hoey - Monster Surfdotdotdot
artworkAn aptly titled release from a player I don't usually like, but when he covers classic surf, it's a whole other side of his playing. Very big and modern, not the least bit traditional. Dick Dale joins Gary Hoey for a very metallic "Miserlou." There are really some very nice tracks here, as long as you expect to be so far outside the envelope and your attitude bag is left at home.
Picks: Pipeline, Hawaii Five-0, California Dreamin', Fun, Fun, Fun, Peter Gunn, Surfin' USA, Walk Don't Run, Penetration, Baja, Gone Surfin', Misirlou, Wipe Out, Grog Stomp, Namotu Moon

Track by Track Review


Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based largely on the Stevie Ray Vaughan arrangement, Gary Hoey makes it darker and chunkier. The added heaviness does bring out a lot of power.

Hawaii Five-0 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In some ways, this is very true to the Ventures' cover, but aurally, it's a whole new thing. Thick and relentlessly loud, "Hawaii Five-0" has not sounded like this before. Pretty interesting!

California Dreamin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Miles and miles from the surf as a source, yet unexpectedly fitting. Unlike the stunning beauty of the Duo-Tones' cover, Gary Hoey gives it an epic largeness via volume and sustain and compressed textures that recreates it into a new experience. Quite nice.

Fun, Fun, Fun dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy rough textured chunk and anger darken the backdrop for this flippant melody. The contrast between the two is stark and compelling.

Peter Gunn dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and lumbering, Henry Mancini's classic detective theme becomes a dinosaur of a brute under the dark chunk of Gary Hoey backup. In some ways, it's too Hendrix-like, and in others, it screams of eighties metal. Still, it works quite well.

Surfin' USA dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big guitar hero overdrive and heavy backup and it's still "Surfin' USA." Can't get behind this one.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the more interesting versions of Johnny Smith's only claim to fame, this is a chunk chord monster in many respects. Not overly creative, but quite demanding. I fund this to bare repeated listenings.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

About as big as Brazil 2001's epic cover, and sporting a few well placed glissandos, "Penetration" is a billion miles away from its roots. Huge and intense.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not many heavy duty covers of this Lee Hazelwood song! While it's thick and loud, it also retains the delicacy and fluid nature of the original. There's no shortage of power, and a lot of precision.

Gone Surfin' dotdotdot
Stadium Metal Reggae (Instrumental)

Gary Hoey's no slouch on guitar, but as far as surf goes, I'm not sure he has any idea what it is. "Gone Surfin'" is a reggae supported commercial guitar piece. It's pleasant and all, but it just has no feel of the surf, no sense of surf music at all, and produces no imagery of the ocean.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Stadium Metal Reggae (Instrumental)

"Misirlou" features the extra heavy strings of the King of the Surf Guitar himself. Heavy chunka-chunka, metallic riffology, and Dick Dale's monster strings! Big vibrato chords, and a very thick wash of guitars. This is one evil mother!

Wipe Out dot
Metal Guitar Hero (Instrumental)

Heavy sludge metal version of the Surfaris hit. ItŐs been done to death, even if you just consider metal version.

Grog Stomp dotdotdot
Metal Guitar Hero (Instrumental)

Wah-wah guitar, a circulating riff, a much lighter and more playful sound, and an overall fun experience, "Grog Stomp" is a sidetrip into Gary Hoey's sandbox.

Namotu Moon dotdotdotdot
Metal Guitar Hero (Instrumental)

Light guitars delicately play beautiful island rhythms and melodies while the drums and bass employ a hip-hop ethic. This is a very pretty piece with island imagery and a great deal of warmth.