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The Mariners - Wrong Planetdotdotdot
artworkAtlanta, Georgia is home to the Mariners. This is their first release. Some really nice tracks, some infectious stuff, a few brilliant moments, and all very precise and clean. Mostly covers, some are less traveled than others, and in most cases, while the arrangements are pretty straight forward, the precision of the playing and the cross between surf and the Ventures places the CD in good position for enjoyment. It's particularly nice to see John D. Loudermilk, Danny Amis and the Penetrators covered. There's no new ground broken, but this is significantly more listenable than most cover discs. The originals are well written and executed as well.
Picks: High Plains Surfer, The Hearse, Windy and Warm, Wrong Planet, Searchin' My Soul, Cruisin' the Kam, Secret Agent Man, Lamento A-Turbo, Mr. Moto, Surfin' St. Helens, Apache, Journey To The Stars, Runaway, Hell Hole

Track by Track Review

High Plains Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a great rhythmic feel, "High Plains Surfer" tips a nod to Nokie Edwards while retaining more surf sound. Bouncy and infectious, this sparkles with warmth, a fine melody, and beautiful ringing chords.

The Hearse dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al Casey's "The Hearse" is warmed up and whammied out. More than just a straight cover, this has a similar gate to the Neon Spores version, while using a much more watery sound. The second guitar, while damped, is pretty dry. A very nice version.

Windy and Warm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John D. Loudermilk's delightfully quirky "Windy And Warm" gets a fresh sound from round tone and warm playing. Accenting the pauses a little less, this seems less playful and more rhythmic, yet very fun.

Wrong Planet dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets' "Wrong Planet" is one of those warm Danny Amis compositions that's been crying out for a good covering. This is quite reverent, with the primary difference being less drums dominance and more surf whammy. very nice.

Searchin' My Soul dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Oh my god! The theme from Ali McBeal, a show all about being pathetic... It's a great bouncy melody, happy and flippant. Pretty funny idea, well executed.

Cruisin' the Kam dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Twang's the thang... "Cruisin' the Kam" is pretty Venturesque, yet warmer. Catchy and fun.

Secret Agent Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Barri and P. F. Sloan somehow came up with this grand melody while most of their other material was insipid or teenage moronic. "Secret Agent Man" has been given the surf treatment many times before, and while this is pretty straight forward, it's warm and very pleasing... maybe the most enjoyable version out there. Much more charm than the Johnny Rivers' hit.

Lamento A-Turbo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Much warmer and more whammified than the fine original from the Penetrators, this track is a joy to listen to. The Good Guys guitar in the middle adds a touch of vintage class. "Lamento A-Turbo" aka "Lamento A Go-Go" is excellent.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What starts out to be an average, even toned down cover of this venerable classic, suddenly takes on a unique air as the oboe (?) takes the lead. Pretty cool.

Surfin' St. Helens dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yikes, just imagine ridin' that horrendous wave of hot ash at nearly a thousand miles per hour... "Surfin' St. Helens" doesn't race at that pace, but this well crafted surf instro does catch your attention. Some fine double picking and some simply solid guitar work.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based around the Shadows' version, the Mariners play a precise and warm cover. It's surf, not Euro in sound, despite the British roots. very clean.

Journey To The Stars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A solid cover of the Ventures' number, less powerful than the original, maybe even restrained.

Runaway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Del Shannon's "Runaway" is delivered in a very straight form, like the Ventures might do it. Precise, but fairly nondescript.

Hell Hole dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chorded, whammified, nearly intense, and cool. "Hell Hole" uses a nice little melody riff and very dry rhythm guitar.