Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Looney Tunes - Cool Surfin'dotdotdot
artworkFirst issue from this excellent German band. Trad approach, with very solid sound. The Looney Tunes are on the garage side. Their covers are quite good, and their originals like "Desert Bound" show a clear understanding of what surf music is all about.
Picks: Desert Bound, Surf Beat, The Cruel Sea, Banzai Washout, The Ambulance, Big Pow Wow, Swanlake, Ghost Train, Commanche, Rumble At Waikiki, Wayward Nile, Walk, Don't Run, Lonely Tubes, Skateland, Miserlou, The Little Old Lady From Paddington

Track by Track Review


Desert Bound dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Desert Bound" is ominous, pure surf, with a fine melody, and a solid structure. This song stays with you after listening. It grumbles along, growling out Spanish influenced changes, and issuing forth the sounds of the surf...

Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's classic, played with fire, but with nothing new happening in the arrangement. Solid and powerful, just not out front with new edge, though the whammy break line ends are very nice.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Maxfield's over covered classic, held to the intent with a trad arrangement.

Banzai Washout dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Douglas' excellent tune, originally issued by the Catalinas and covered by Dick Dale. This is pretty fiery, but with a more muted tone and less fire than either early versions.

The Ambulance dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythm dominated, very wet, and very surfy. This is a pounder for the weekend blowout. Infectious and driven.

Big Pow Wow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A stereotypical Indian riff and tom toms... but so what, it's infectious and friendly, and very tribal. I'm a sucker for the Indian motif instros like "Apache" and "Hiawatha."

Swanlake dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfin' the classics with Tchaikovsky on a longboard. Nice, but could be more developed. OK, I like it, OK!

Ghost Train dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Swanks' "Ghost Train" is amped up and dampened, while retaining the edge. Solid pounding surfabilly.

Commanche dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Davie Allan's tune reverbed and muted, maybe muddied some. It's chunky, surfy, but not very fiery.

Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jon & the Nightriders' tune, not as chunky, but enjoyable.

Wayward Nile dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tony Asher's tune first surfed up by the Chantays, made different yet again. Where the Chantays made nice with the pretty shimmering sounds and piano, the Looney Tunes make intense whammy and throbbing vibrato. A nice arrangement.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The 1960 Ventures arrangement. Played in a grodie way, this ends up different enough to break away from the "just another cover" label.

Lonely Tubes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Sebastian Hartmann tune is different, trad yet original, sad and spooky. Distant, but effective. Solid memorable riff.

Skateland dotdotdot
Swimming Pool Assault (Instrumental)

Thick whammified, rockin' riffin' power chord swimming pool assault rock.

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yeah, natch... this is one solid performance of "Miserlou," though it sports nothing new. It's hard to not dig this song ya know.

The Little Old Lady From Paddington dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A too fun English surf wanna be tune with solid tone and a friendly riff/melody. It's infectious and sticks afterward as well.