Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Insect Surfers - Satellite Beachdotdotdotdotdot
artworkAll I can say is, it's about time! The Insect Surfers have been around since '79. In al that time, they have recorded some of the most adventurous and magnificent surf instros around. Finally, Green Cookie assembles a best-of spanning the entire 25 years. Utterly wonderful! it's about time!
Picks: Razorback, Mojave, Volcano Juice, Mr. Yunioshi, Zorba's Dance, Tethys, Tiger Shark, Polaris, Black Sea, Massachusetts, Bouzouki, Dorsal Fin, Diamondback, Outsider, Flamin' Eddie's Dragstrip, Horizon Riders, Psychotronic, Silver Coast

Track by Track Review


Razorback dotdotdotdot
Southwest Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Pick slides slam into a melodic bluesy progression in "Razorback," resulting in a desert mystique that projects images of cacti and mysterious moving rocks around which razorbacks search for chow.

Mojave dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the most spectacular middle eastern surf tracks around. It hollers Bouzoukis and belly dancers, yet it also displays ample southwest desert edge and mystery. A highly energetic, melodic, and absolutely infectious track.

Volcano Juice dotdotdotdotdot
Southwest Desert Surf (Instrumental)

King Fuzz himself (Davie Allan) lends his bike-o-phonic assault to "Volcano Juice," a towering number with a rolling bass line under a Bo Diddley tom tom cadence and a relentless building series of crescendos. This is the second best tune on the CD, an irrepressible monster! Very tribal and primitive!

Mr. Yunioshi dotdotdotdot
Lounge Surf (Instrumental)

In a most unusual side trip, the Insect Surfers do a "Mr. Moto" intro, then delve right into Henry Mancini's "Mr. Yunioshi" with insect coolness. This is very adventurous and inventive, with real suave slither and surf underpinnings. The excellent damped plucking and double picked slither, and the way cool string bending make this shine. Too much!

Zorba's Dance dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One bitchin track. As usual, the Insects deliver the goods with their dueling leads, and the bit from "Zorba the Greek" is priceless. Truly brilliant! No doubt about it. Totally infectious.

Tethys dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tethys" captures your ears right from the start. The alternating melody line is captivating and intricate. Each guitar brings its own brand of delivery to the song, with many fine changes in texture and tone. "Tethys" is a magnificent track.

Tiger Shark dotdotdotdot
Southwest Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Tiger Shark" opens the album with finite feedback, which evolves into a heavy growling riff with a very cool chunky melody over the top. This is one of those highly infectious Insect Surfer songs that can be identified as theirs without ever having heard it before. A fine track.

Polaris dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is one perfect instro. The melody line features the kind of hooks that stay with you, the arrangement is nearly magical, and the imagery is stunning. This is a mid tempo beautifully written and played tune with subtle drama and picturesque guitar tones.

Black Sea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an amazing new song! It rides on an undulating rhythm, born of western skies and summer adventure. Compelling and exquisitely arranged, "Black Sea" demands your attention. Vibrato drama, silky fluid lines, psychedelic effects, and a call to the open highway. Magnificent! No, it's Perfect!

Massachusetts dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a deliriously delicious choice to make instro surf hay with. The Bee Gees couldn't have seen this coming, though they did have an excellent sense of melody. It's faster and more spunky than the original, and replete with the insects signature twin leads. Excellent!

Bouzouki dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This tune is dedicated to the fabled classic Greek instrument that inspired Dick Dale's double picking. It combines the trad Greek ethic with surf guitar and bits of "Miserlou." A very strong track.

Dorsal Fin dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Instrumental)

This fine instrumental merely hints at the future surf magic of Dave Arnson. It is a wonderful track, but is quite different than the current Insect fare. It is a marvelous example of early eighties pop gone surf-inspired instro. The keyboard is cool, and the writing is great. I've often asked Dave to add this back to his set, but to no avail. Demand it, it's a great song.

Diamondback dotdotdotdotdot
Southwest Desert Surf (Instrumental)

A rattlesnake shakes it's moneymaker as you roll down the Arizona highway with a picture-perfect sunset looming in your future. That's what you see when you listen to "Diamond Back," with it's rolling rhythms, dual leads, and that snake rattle. This is the third best track on this CD, a 5 star tune!

Outsider dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is all about waiting on your board for that long thin dark shadow-line that appears on the horizon, and builds until someone shouts "OUTSIDER!" It shreds, it double-pick pounds, it growls, it groans, and it's killer!

Flamin' Eddie's Dragstrip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The dragsters rev up, the announcer calls the race, and then the guitars kick in. This long time Insect Surfers finally makes it to disc, and way past due I say! Great grodie fuzz and liquid guitar, an utterly infectious melody, "Church Key" whammy dips... what more do you need? Edgy hotrod cool!

Horizon Riders dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best new songs from the Insect Surfers. It's an infectious spaghetti western with very visual psychedelic swirls. The rolling cowboy beat and Morricone-ish melody are a splendid Southwest epic! The many textural changes add a sense of evolving story lines. Great!

Psychotronic dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a Mike Maxfield tune, not like "Cruel Sea," but more like a country backtrack. It's a riff a,d a bunch of country twang, and a rolling down the highway good time pleaser. Dedicated to B-movies everywhere, "Psychotronic" features the signature Insect dual leads over fine chunky rhythms. The trashiness of the black and whites is self-evident in this fine track.

Silver Coast dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the sea and beautiful guitarscapes, "Silver Coast" rides on a circulating melody line atop a great rhythm. This fine track is is a fine example of the swirling perfection that the Insect Surfers are capable of. Gorgeous ringing tone and throbbing essence of surf, with long howling feedback and grumbling bass slowly releasing the track as it fades under the waves.