Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mermen - Mermen Xmas '95dotdotdotdotdot
artworkIt was December, 1995. I put on a surf show on campus called Humunga Cowabunga. Long time friends the Mermen agreed to headline this benefit, and with a little coaxing, they created unique variations on three holiday classics, as did Brazil 2001 and the Woodies, who shared the bill. Jim was so inspired by the idea, that they recorded the three tracks in the studio for this extremely limited edition of 20 CD-R given as gifts to their closest friends and long time supporters. Our own Uncle Al mastered and burned the CD-R's. There were only twenty made. This takes the edge off any holiday depression that may be lurking in your closet.
Picks: Happy Xmas, Silent Night, Carol Of The Bells

Track by Track Review

Happy Xmas dotdotdotdotdot
Christmas Surf (Instrumental)

Scraping the bah-hum-bug off Father Christmas' old sock, the lads make an amazingly interesting treat of the common holiday fare. There's a thick and psychedelic sieve through which this fine track is sifted, blending the intent with the huge imagery of this great band. Jim asks Allen, why they are playing a gig at the North Pole, to which Allen replies it's punishment for Jim and Martyn being bad boys... Allen and Martyn hold down a slow solid underpinning for Jim's magnificent holiday effected guitar. You can't imagine what wonders are performed on this ancient standard when huge guitar or double picked delicacy are applied. Midstream, Jim asks "How we gonna get home for Christmas?," just as the song resumes it's large proportions, before a giant whammy yields to some wildly modulated whirling tones... and visions of sugar plum fairies dance on your head... good night, one and all...

Silent Night dotdotdotdotdot
Christmas Surf (Instrumental)

The amazing thing is just how much this song can sound like Jim wrote it when he plies his effects and fingering. Jim's delicate and artful solo guitar rendering of a single verse of this song is nothing short of gorgeous... stunningly beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes.

Carol Of The Bells dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with pristine and precise beautifully played solo guitar over sleigh bells, they bring in the drums and bass for a second verse that's delicate, before bringing in the timbales and a little more oomph. The boys use several transitions between textures and energy levels that bring a lot of drama and flair to this wonderful performance. The drama of this beautiful track is stunning. It is totally different than the Malibooz interpretation. This is huge, emotional, and moving. Glorious.