Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The King Kongs - Surf Tapes 2007 (demos)dotdotdotdot
artworkThis cassette is a compilation of two releases, Surf Tapes and Surfin' Circus. Some very worthwhile listening resides within. Yes, it's a demo, and the sound has its limitations, particularly the drums, but this is a solid set of surf tunes.
Picks: Tanzploshadka, Japanese One, Ginza Lights, A Go-Go Dancer, The Beat, Kumuldu's Descent, Tomahawk, The Dance Pavilion, Magomaev, El Bimbo, Surfin' Circus, Dead Sea

Track by Track Review

Tanzploshadka dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Some very nice slow glissandos and island whammy bring forth a really nice melody line and easy rhythm. "Tanzploshadka" is a wonderfully light song that retains its edge and rock creds. While the sound is demo, this is nonetheless a fine track.

Japanese One dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Japanese One" employs a fairly basic riff at first, but then unveils a nicely written melody line and infectious structure. Great potential here!

Ginza Lights dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dribbling glissandos and a ska back beat provide serious charm and fun. While not exactly as good as The Hypnotic IV's version, it's a close second. The Ventures' "Ginza Lights" is seldom covered.

A Go-Go Dancer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slightly slower and more dripping wet version of The Ventures' "A Go-Go Dancer." It doesn't break any ground, but it's very nicely done.

The Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Beat" is a bright holiday in the islands kind of surf instro with nifty glissandos and a sunny disposition. In studio, it's much more uplifting and optimistic than it is live. A very nice track.

Kumuldu's Descent dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Kumuldu's Descent" is a bit of a jazzy spy song in some ways, and pretty surfy in others. The sax midway through transitions the song into lovely island imagery at a much slower pace. I love this part!

Tomahawk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an original arrangement of Davie Allan and the Arrows' "Tomahawk," with a lighter sound, glissandos, and easy fuzz. The blend of surf and biker styles is very effective.

The Dance Pavilion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A dark glissando and whammy chords introduce a splendid melody and gentle backtrack. The melody is reminiscent of some of The Bambi Molesters gentler songs, though the arranging and delivery are quite different.

Magomaev dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Magomaev" has Russian flavor and splendid rhythm guitar. The rhythm section is infectious and dry, while the reverb lead is all about an open road adventure and cautious optimism.

El Bimbo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama instro, and then a delightful and playful song from Claude Morgan that done with one eye on its easy origin, and another on surf. The other two surf versions from Bonney and Buzz and Shigeo Naka are not much like this at all. There are some very fun parts.

Surfin' Circus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark glissandos and dry rhythms suggest a summer holiday on an inland sea. The middle part is much lighter, is augmented by muted lines, and is just really fun. "Surfin' Circus" is quite a fun track, and very original.

Dead Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dead Sea" borders on lovely at times, but has a more gritty sound. Wonderful whammy chords and lagoon imagery give the song a lot of attraction. Slightly dramatic, but mostly light and artful.