Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Mel-tones - Surf Sensationdotdotdotdot
artworkWhat a great collection of tracks from the now-defunct Los Mel-tones. Mostly from their two great CD's, with some added gems for good measure. Pure surf pleasure and power. Go for it!
Picks: Kung Fu Saturdays, Rocket Sled To Oahu, The Perfect Wave, Tiki Cabana, Fault Line, Incognito, Reef Patrol, Surfin' Natasha, Papakolea Beach, Break Point, You'll Never Surf In This Town Again, Curl Rider Stomp, Go Big or Go Home, Mission To Mazatlan, Avienu Malkainu, Astronomic, Surf Before Sunrise, Return of the Surfin' Headhunters, Custom Cruiser, Vista del Mar, In Praise of the Lime, Special Assignment, Air Time II, Sands Go Vermilion, Polynesian Adventure, Breakers at Hanalei, Carvin' the Drift, Villa of Mysteries, The Last Papaya, Suicide Clutch, Distant Shores, Cabo Del Cabo, Surf Clam

Track by Track Review

Kung Fu Saturdays dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A melodic and well spiced tune, with delightful glissandoes. Double picked, fluid, and punchy. The guys shout in the background too. Infectious, powerful, and hot fun.

Rocket Sled To Oahu dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is a rippin adventure. Speedy and melodic, with punchy damped guitar. Edgy surfisms. The rhythm guitar is heavy staccato, while the lead and organ trade off on the melodic line. Energetic.

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.

Tiki Cabana dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

El Patio de Afternoono Dilecto (pardon my Spanish). Fiery, flowery, Spanish, and dripping coolness. It's an afternoon on the patio watching the curl break just beyond the bikini line. Very sensual.

Fault Line dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

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

Incognito dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spy surf deluxe with emphasis on the surf. "Incognito" is a very nice tune, with a very cool riff and solid surf sensibilities. Exceptionally cool.

Reef Patrol dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool lead and rhythm balance. The organ is subdued suitably, while the surfisms rule. "Reef Patrol" seems ominous, yet flowing and gentle, with adventurous Dick Dale-isms and Spanish flair. Very cool.

Surfin' Natasha dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' Natasha" is based on Cozy Cole's classic big band monster Topsy. Surf and shimmer meet swing head on. Cool track, with some excellent heavy surf tone.

Papakolea Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice Island sorta number, with a Surf Coasters kinda melody line. "Papakolea Beach" is adventurous and flocked with dribbling glissandoes. Spooky in a classic way.

Break Point dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very pretty tune with a great sound. "Break Point" reminds me of a few of John Blair's slower tunes. Well written, beautifully liquid, melodic and plunky... Wow! Very nice indeed.

You'll Never Surf In This Town Again dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A shimmering lead guitar plays a very pleasing melody. The vibrato throbs with liquid emotion as it delivers a sad and groovy melody.

Curl Rider Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Curl Rider Stomp" is a fun track with a spunky beat and plenty of chunka-chunka, spiked with chants of "curl rider" and "shoot the curl now." This is infectious and sports righteous reverb.

Go Big or Go Home dotdotdot
Fuzz (Instrumental)

"Go Big Or Go Home" is quite a departure with it's edgy and fuzzy face. Great surf rhythm guitar and fuzz lead playing a slightly eastern melody. Nice track.

Mission To Mazatlan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mariachi pomp and shimmering guitar emote a mystery unfolding on the beach in Mazatlan. "Mission To Mazatlan" presents a great image and warm mystery. The organ takes the break.

Avienu Malkainu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fiery traditional Jewish song with a cool energetic feel. "Avienu Malkainu" carries you along, whether you want to go or not. Great Dick Dale nods too. Brilliant!

Astronomic dotdotdot
Rock Progression (Instrumental)

This is an edgy surfy stompy number. Splashy and frat driven, chunky and churny, with a fuzz lead over rich surf guitar. Nice track.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Suicide Clutch dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Suicide Clutch" appears for the first time here. Great surf rhythm and a grodie surf melody. It's a very infectious track with wonderful rhythm and surf chunk. It all ends with a tuff reverb crash.

Distant Shores dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Distant Shores" is not a soft piece, but it does shout out images of Baja beaches. The melody is really nice, and the arrangement solid. In some ways, there's a hint of Mark Brodie in the feel. Excellent track.

Cabo Del Cabo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mexico drips from every lick of "Cabo del Cabo." It's a gentle piece, picturesque and very pleasant. A beautiful piece with a warm breeze feel and a sense of restful hammock afternoons while the lawn mows itself. Excellent.

Surf Clam dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Clam!" is a double picked fluid piece with an adventurous riff with a slightly melancholy feel. Lots of fine glissandoes and playful changes. The vibrato guitar over the walking bass line in the break is a very cool idea. Love the reverb crash at the end.