Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Randy Holden - Early Works '64-'66
|This CD is from vinyl, but the sound is not too bad. It contains two unreleased Fender Four tracks from an acetate disc, plus the three instros released on Imperial in '64 & '65. There are also 7 Sons Of Adam tracks from the Decca singles. Besides being a talented garage punk guitarist with the Sons, he also fronted the amazing San Francisco psych punk legends the Other Half, whose surf influences were clear, before winding up in Blue Cheer for one album side, and then launching a solo career in the seventies, and ultimately releasing a new album last year. Randy is one of my favorite surf instro writers. His "Mar Gaya" and "Everybody Up" are often covered. A tasty CD! Tracks 10 and 13 are title-reversed.|
Picks: Mar Gaya, Little Ollie, Everybody Up, Highway Surfer, Malibu Run
Track by Track Review
"Mar Gaya" is such a monster. Huge ominous sounding tune with a minimalist melody on the low-E that thunders across the aural horizon. Randy Holden is a genius! Must have essential surf. Simply the darkest surf single of 1965. Holden says that the inspiration for this masterpiece was Dick Dale's "The Victor," and you can hear it in the relentlessness of the hypnotic thunder, but "Mar Gaya" is infinitely larger.
"Little Ollie" is a slow painfully ominous track, wholly uncharacteristic of their other work. It is from an acetate of unknown origin, and has never been issued before. In some ways, it's very similar to the Safaris' "Lonely Surf Guitar," but tonally more like the centurions. Amazing!
From the first drum beat of the intro, this track shreds. The beat is strong, the rhythm infectious, and the melody incredibly good. There are few surf instros that compare to the power and energy of this magical track. Exceptionally good playing, and magnificently strong writing. The glissandoes grab and shake you, leaving you spent when it's over.
Using a rhythm track which is very similar to "Everybody Up," this is a really nice track, almost as cool as it's cousin. Fast, vibrant, and great to drive to.
"Malibu Run" of the best examples of how ska was creeping into the surf instro sound just before it ended. This is a fine, very melodic, and rhythmically infectious track. Mid tempo magic. Brilliantly melodic and surfy. Check out the more ska-centered cover by the Halibuts. "Malibu Run" is a beautiful rolling song with a great melody line. It was the B-side of "Everybody Up.