Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Meshugga Beach Party - Let's Go Shleppin'!dotdotdotdotdot
artworkMan-o-man! Another amazing CD from one of the most original surfbands on earth - at least from an image point of view. Staffed by veteran players from bay Area bands, Meshugga Beach Party is simply superb! I talk a lot about the guitars and keys here, but the bass and drums are essential to how well these songs all work. There is a seamless sense of great arranging, with every track very well developed. A superb work of art that's a must experience release!
Picks: If I Were A Rich Man, Theme From Exodus, Jericho, Dark Eyes, S'Vivon, And The Angels Sing, Borscht Belt Beet, Yism'chu Hashamayim, Tzena Tzena, Frailachs, Mazel Tov Cocktail, Jezebel, Star Of David, Kosor Paziranu, Bashana Haba'a, Shmata Hari, Let My People Go, Sabbath Prayer

Track by Track Review


If I Were A Rich Man dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a wonderful version of "If I Were A Rich Man!" It's a complete reinvention of the Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock composition from Fiddler On The Roof. The only other cover I know of is from Vibrasonic, and that's so completely different. Rhythm guitar and keys compliment each other, while the lead guitar dribbles liquidy glissandos and charm. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Theme From Exodus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are a handful of surf interpretations of Ernest Gold's theme, each very different in character. This is a fairly traditional version with solid character and coolness.

Jericho dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In some ways similar to the Mysterions' "Jericho Rock," this traditional song is great fodder for surf. It's melodic, rousing, catchy, familiar, and ripe for rhythm. This is a very cool version of the song.

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Chorni Ochi" was composed in Ukrane around 1840, so it surely wasn't intended for instrumental electric guitar, yet it's been done by many instro bands. Meshugga Beach Party do a really fine version, perhaps a little like The Chessmen, but with reverb. Quite nice.

S'Vivon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"S'Vivon" is a traditional Jewish folk song that gets new life as Meshugga Beach Party liquefy it with reverb. Great drums and a splashy lead guitar really make this fun. Excellent!

And The Angels Sing
Surf (Instrumental)

This is really fun and shiny and engaging. The song's uplifting melody is a great vehicle for the grin on the sound of Meshugga Beach Party. Based on the Eddie and the Showmen arrangement, this is a thoroughly cool version of Ziggy Elman and Johnny Mercer's 1939 classic first charted by Benny Goodman.

Borscht Belt Beet dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a happy song! There's a great deal of spirit and wide grinning sound in this splendid take on "Borscht Belt Beet." The keys take a verse, giving it a combination early psych and surf sound. The double picked verse where the keys play counter melody is superb! The arrangement varies a lot, keeping this right in focus.

Yism'chu Hashamayim dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional song is played as if it's a cousin to "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky," with a galloping beat and country-rock mix. The Leslie adds a surreal edge, and the muted dripping springs are - well - just grand.

Tzena Tzena dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In a very playful setting, the lead is very low and the organ sort of carnival cool. There's only fun and lightness here, which make it hard to dislike. Pure fun.

Frailachs dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The organ and traditional beat here are priceless, and once the surf guitar comes in, "Frailachs" takes on a carnival air. You must be in a good mood to listen, or, put another way, your dower tendencies will flee upon experiencing this track!

Mazel Tov Cocktail dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly lush in a loungy sort of way, "Mazel Tov Cocktail" is a cool number with great guitars and sensual organ. Bordering on Mediterranean at times via the dribbling double picked guitar, this is very engaging. A superb track with lots to enjoy about it.

Jezebel dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wayne Shanklin's often covered song is done with a pure surf vision. The break features muted reverb guitar and sixties combo keys that are more than just a beak from the glory of the double picked melody. The twin leads play the melody in different octaves opposite one another to great effect. Superb!

Star Of David dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an original arrangement of "The Star (Of David)," a song Dick Dale covered on his Summer Surf album. This seems much more European because of the ultra low lead. The chorus is where dale used it. I've always wondered why this song went uncovered. Infectious and cool.

Kosor Paziranu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Traveling along a at a steady pace with great muted surf guitar rhythm and a sparkling melody, "Kosor Paziranu" turns out to be a great track. Wonderful arranging and playing, and a very durable sound. Glissandos and reverb and charm abound.

Bashana Haba'a dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Totally cool dripping muted reverb accompanies a churchy organ before the warm melody chimes in with its island whammy and lively imagery. "Bashana Haba'a" is just plain cool!

Shmata Hari dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shmata Hari" is totally charming, with superb double picked lead and muted rhythm, along with circulating keys. This track really stands up to repeated listening. Its totally enjoyable sound and flair, and pure surf rhythm are very compelling.

Let My People Go dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo charm and a catchy twang find punctuation from the keys in some verses, and guitar trades roles with keys on others. The break is fast and spunky. Great drums and tremolo shimmer.

Sabbath Prayer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an easy summery number with perfect drums and fuzz. This has a real Doors feel to it in the rhythm track, and the lead is totally muted reverb dripping. "Sabbath Prayer" is a grand track with charm and a fascinating blend of styles. Big grins here!