Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Mel-tones - Surf Before Sunrisedotdotdotdot
artworkWell worth the wait, this is the incredibly strong second CD from Canada's Los Mel-tones. Solid writing and arranging, splashy surf, crunchy tones, and infectious melodies. This is an excellent CD.
Picks: Surf Before Sunrise, Return Of The Surfin' Headhunters, Custom Cruiser, Fault Line, Vista del Mar, In Praise Of The Lime, Special Assignment, Air Time II, The Perfect Wave, Sands Go Vermilion, Infrared, Polynesian Adventure, Sunday Drive, Breakers At Hanalei, Carvin' The Drift, Villa Of Mysteries, The Last Papaya

Track by Track Review


Surf Before Sunrise dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Like the title says, it's a rag for the lap steel, playfully bouncing along. Fun and enjoyable.

Return Of The Surfin' Headhunters dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

A slow dance tune for the ladies to ponder the menfolk over. The boys may be checkin' out the fillies framework, but the lasses are eyeballin' the future fathers of America. Think gorgeous gingham.

Custom Cruiser dotdotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

A speedy picker's plaything, with some of the same guitar trickery that is used often in surf (by Dick Dale and others), but dry and lightly played. really nice track.

Fault Line dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Standard country tiger rag stuff, with liquid lap steel and country twang. melodic, and fun.

Vista del Mar dotdotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Ay, carumba! The lace and studded chaps crowd will devour this, with it's tinkly piano, and it's Mexican basis. Quite a fun track. Yee-haw!

In Praise Of The Lime dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Even Ringo Starr thought this was a fine tune, having a hit with it when he was a Beatle. This instro version lacks the charm of Buck's vocal take. It's essentially the same backtrack with a lead guitar over the top. Fun.

Special Assignment dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

The backtrack of Buck's vocal hit with a lead guitar overdubbed. OK, but not as cool as his hit.

Air Time II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Quirky fundango thumpabilly surf. This tune has a mighty fun melody line, but is most dominated by it's infectious percussion. The tribal rhythms drive home the title theme. poundingly joyous.

The Perfect Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thundering ringing tone, round toms, pummeling energy, and a riff that laughs of surfabilly roots and surfside frolicking. Not very melodic, but very infectious.

Sands Go Vermilion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This grodie slow groove is definitely a stroll, of the midnight variety. It employs a simple riff, lime the sort of thing that Link Wray does so well with, and it has that sort of guitar tone as well. Plodding and ominous.

Infrared dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big chords, chunky rhythms, and a riff that rolls right through town. Not much melody, but party worshippers will dance their behinds off. The guitar string swipes are very intense and cool.

Polynesian Adventure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This stomp-on-demand tune is completely from the fun side of the house. The sax squirts and the rhythm thumps are perfect, while the lead guitar just sorta provides a bit of the old noodle. Energetic and fun.

Sunday Drive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As the sea rises and falls, so does this tune ebb and flow with the tide. Shimmering and delicately dribbled out, the lead guitar delivers a Mediterranean vision while the rhythm guitar provides a Duane Eddy style progression, until the middle section arrives, where an Endless Summer warm lazy afternoon sound takes over. The long dribbled glissandoes are very nice. A really nice and very pretty track.

Breakers At Hanalei dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More like the Halibuts of old, this is a happier than happy tune, melodic as they come, and entirely infectious. The playfulness of the melody brings a grin, while the rhythm section keeps you rolling down the highway. It is the happy side of this song that makes it so special.

Carvin' The Drift dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A standard surf drum track, a chord progression of some familiarity, and an R&B sax & bass duet, combine to form what starts out as a party backtrack, but develops into a surf jam with some mighty fine double picking. Fun track.

Villa Of Mysteries dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, spiffy guitar chops, big time whammy, and a delightful almost prancing riff and delivery, all seem to work in concert to produce an unusual and chunky trip for the racing party goers. The ending flying insect simulation is just plain fun.

The Last Papaya dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Silky smooth, fluidly scenic, and romantically gentle, this tune features full round and ringing guitar tones and gorgeous chord falls. The gentle grass shack backtrack is perfect for the melody line. Very pretty track.