Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The McGlynn Brothers Band - Surf Musicdotdotdotdot
artworkMany of the Southern California surfbands in the eighties were already reinventing the genre through modernization coupled with traditional influences. The Insect Surfers, the Wedge, the Evasions all did this in their own way, as did the McGlynn Brothers Band. They cut this album of material in 1988. Personnel on the sessions were Bill McGlynn - guitar/keys, Ken McGlynn - bass, Bruce Graham - drums, and Tim King - sax.
Picks: Minoray, Surfin' Oasis, Spanish Wave, California Zorro, Long Board, Venice Pier, 90291, The Spot, Winky Dinker, Hot Sand, Almost August, Venice Pier

Track by Track Review


Minoray dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The McGlynn Brothers Band play a very fluid instro with a bouncy rhythm and catchy melody line. The sax adds a vintage edge to an otherwise eighties styled surf jam. Melodic and uplifting, yet somewhat moody.

Surfin' Oasis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The guitar lines in "Surfin' Oasis" have a hauntingly fluid sound to them. A little playful, yet just a bit cautious. The apparent movement hints at long shots of glassy rides and easy cutbacks. Very nice.

Spanish Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Spanish Wave" is a very groovy song with a ringing guitar tone and warm melody line that calls to open coastal landscapes and aquatic adventure. The sax break adds to the strrength of the song. Excellent drums and a sense of forward motion.

California Zorro dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"California Zorro" is a catchy song with a very surfable melody line and inviting sound. The sax accompanies the guitar, which semi-double picks the leads and vibrato throbs the braks. Quite an optimistic song. This was the first song that attracted me to the McGlynn Brothers Band back when Rick Johnson (Halibuts) passed a cassette along to me back in '88 or '89. For a NorCal kid, they were illusive and attractive, and charting new territory surely didn't hurt.

Long Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of the tribal Indian drum drama, a funeral dirge feel that's tempered by optimism, and a rich military celebration. These things coexist in this entirely original song. Mid tempo, dramatic, richly textured, and haunting, with edge and lots of changes that keep engaging. A splendid song. McGlynn's current band, the Moby Dicks, should work this up. It's a stellar piece of music.

Venice Pier dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

the sound of the shore break, the distant voices from the beach, the feeling of night on any small beach town pier. No, it's not a piece of music, just the ambiance of the place where sea and shore intertwine.

90291 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The zipcode for Venice, Playa Del Rey, and Marina Del Rey gives its name to this twangster. This is a bouncy and somewhat happy song with a warm charm. dramatric tom toms, bright guitar lines, and tribal fun.

The Spot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

ON the lush side of haunting, "The Spot" celebrates long gentle rides with a flowing sustained guitar melody. It's a pretty instro with just a bit of gnarl.

Winky Dinker dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Winky Dinker" has a sense of the humor of Endless Summer coupled with a liquefied "Summertime Blues" kind groove. Bouncy and relentlessly in motion, with a grin and longboard in tow. A touch of the islands, and a real carefree sense. Quite a nice track.

Hot Sand dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a simply fun and infectious track. A neary ska backbeat is supllied by the keys. A bit of edge comes from the sax. Likely it's the sax break, which so very ska, that attracted these guys to the Halibuts, given their use of ska as a surf blender.

Almost August dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Carribean island holiday sounds, charm and warmth. "Almost August" is just that, a summer breeze on a crefree island where only the lazy curl and perfumed air matter. Very pretty.

Venice Pier dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

the sound of the shore break, the distant voices from the beach, the feeling of night on any small beach town pier. No, it's not a piece of music, just the ambiance of the place where sea and shore intertwine.