Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The New Dimensions - The Best Of The New Dimensionsdotdotdotdot
artworkIt's about time. The New Dimensions's music has been illusive to collectors, and unknown to the general public for long enough. Essential vintage surf, particularly important for its luau and Pachuko soul influences as well as its fast tuff surf sounds. Sundazed has done a great job with this package.

This is the band pictured on the cover of the Sentinals' Surfer Girl album. Why you ask? Good question. The answer might lie in the same place as the great Centurions album mystery.
Picks: Soul Breakout, Failsafe, Soul Surf, Deuces and Eights, Chicky Run, Cat On A Hot Foam Board, Bongo Surf, Big Soul Beat, Blacktop, Bongo Shutdown, National Breakout, Wild Wave, Soul Side, The Taming Of The Tube, Surfin' Brown Jug, Miserlou, Junker, Totaled, Psyche-Out, Rumblebee, Souling USA, Avalanche

Track by Track Review


Soul Breakout dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale-esq number with the lead guitar a little too low in the mix. Not at all melodic, but quite a surf jam of the garage variety with tasteful piano break in the middle. Despite the absolutely crappy drums sound, it's a cool number to rumble with the greasers by.

Failsafe dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the great surf tunes, "Failsafe" is completely unique in its sound and composition. The piano plays a key role, and the double picked damped surf guitar is the rhythm. Great lead guitar tone, and the piano pumps perfectly throughout. Excellent!

Soul Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a piano and guitar riff number with a cruisin' feel and some mighty quick pickin'. Tape delay replaces reverb on the lead guitar, and the lack of focus leaves it in the jam category. Having said that, it's quite listenable and a solid example of surf rhythm jams that had an attraction. Works really well.

Deuces and Eights dotdotdot
Organ Surf (Instrumental)

This is a riff rocker. The melody line is delivered by the organ with the sax honkin' accompaniment. It's miles from the surf aurally, but is structured like a classic surf single. Though it's more rock sounding, it's a very infectious rocker with a sparkle and gruff edge.

Chicky Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A mighty infectious hot rod song with a "Thunder Road" mentality with nice lead work. Grumbly and mean, with an infectious bounce and almost ska rhythm. Not surf as you might expect it, but charging open road adventure music. Fun.

Cat On A Hot Foam Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cat On A Hot Foam Board" is a track I've adored for 30 years. It's fiery, has a bitchin' melody, an incredible infectious tinkly piano, and pummels the drawers right off of your surf buns with its great staccato lead lines. Crank this one up big time! This song is worth the price all by itself! There are not enough stars...

Bongo Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bongos go bonkers up against the guitar and piano in a cool and ominous song that brings lounge tikis and fifties beat generation movies to mind. Think luau. The chamber reverb on the bongos gives them an eerie warehouse coolness.

Big Soul Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Big Soul Beat" is virtually the Strangers' "Caterpillar Crawl." The reverb adds grodie danger, and the chunky rhythm brings out the seamy side. Very ominous and cool.

Blacktop dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Piano lead over an ominous low-E progression. While it rumbles and grumbles and parties hard, it's nothing special.

Bongo Shutdown dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool surf reverbed Preston Epps like track, with some similarities to their "Surfin' Dance." Big twang and dribbling surf, and excellent exotica percussion and piano. Not at all melodic, yet this is prime material for your next luau.

National Breakout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"National Breakout" is just too cool for words! The piano lead with solid surf chops is one great driving experience. The piano is so infectious that you can't get it out of your mind. Simply a tuff and intense ride through rhythm country.

Wild Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a piano and sax duet over an R&B base. Rhythmically pumped, but too riffy. Lots of fire in the performance.

Soul Side dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The "Linda Lou" riff provides the foundation for this R&B tune. Much too jammy.

The Taming Of The Tube dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great title, wailing oscillating sax intro, bluesy luau groove, exotic bongos, and a nice riff a la "Latin Soul," "Tequila" and the Rhythm Kings. Infectious exotica transmuted into surf.

Surfin' Brown Jug dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cute little rendition of "Little Brown Jug," borrowed from the Belairs' "Mr. Moto" b-side, but more a curiosity than anything else.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wow! Fire in their eyes and screams in the studio! The New Dimensions push Dick Dale's arrangement to the limit! Very fast, very loud, and very cool!

Junker dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Junker" is a saucy Pachuko Soul groover with a mean edge. Easily sits along side "Delano Soul Beat" or many an east LA souler.

Totaled dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based on Dick Dale's "50 Miles To Go," "Totaled" doesn't develop beyond an R&B backtrack. The drum break is pounding cool.

Psyche-Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spooky and sporting a glorious luau surf rhythm, "Psyche-Out" threatens safety and all that is not wave worthy. A very nice melody line and grand guitar sounds.

Rumblebee dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' arrangement of "Bumble Bee" is well played with flair and interesting drums. The reverb brings it into the surf, and the piano adds fire. very fun!

Souling USA dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The musicians tests their sounds, and the boys shout. The sax honks one note disagreements as the band plays an R&B groove. Not real melody, just a frat party blast.

Avalanche dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of screams and shouts and fun. Not at all surfy, but full of R&B greaser party fire and gay abandon. Totally fun.