Phil Dirt - Reverb Central
PO Box 7240, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7240 USA

album coverJan and Dean Dead Man's Curve / The New Girl In School 3 stars
Label: One Way S21-18684 CD

When the Beach Boys adapted their fathers' barber shop harmonies to the beach culture, creating the California surf-pop genre, Jan & Dean quickly moved from their white doo-wop based teen pop to their more successful "surf" sound. They had many hits, but recorded precious few instros. Included on the Dead Man's Curve / The New Girl In School album was the cheesy oriental stereotype B Gas Rickshaw.

Picks: B Gas Rickshaw

"B Gas Rickshaw" 3 stars

This poppy instro has always lurked at the edges of surf. It's guitar sound is not surf, but it's string bending implies the whammy of the waves. The accompanying strings give it a surreal MOR quality, yet the infectiousness of the melody and concept grab you. The woodblock percussion is just too camp! A few bands have recognized the cover-ability and audience friendliness of the tune, and have covered it reverently. Included in that short list are the Ray Beats and the Skeletons. A fun ride on the escalator at the mall, with a distant view of the ocean out the window.
Surf Pop Instrumental Stereo

"Barons West LA" 3 stars

This is your typical studio progression filler instro, slightly more melodic than that might imply, but even slightly like a surf tune or developed like a song exposed to an audience over time would be. It crawls along, plodding through a high school marching band with guitar sound, augmented with the Dead Man's Curve French horns. At least there's vibrato on the guitar.
Surf Pop Instrumental Stereo