Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
North Of Malibu - Impact Zonedotdotdot
artwork12 songs from North Of Malibu, who have up to know only issued demos. With better recordings in hand, the band has a much richer and more authentic sound. Lead guitarist Proton was in the Surfbards (Chicago '66) back in the day, who were in part a surfband, so there's lineage here.
Picks: Impact Zone, Esperanza, Backlash, Moovin' And Groovin', Moon Dawg, Crashing Waves, Message From Proton, The Creature, Raw-Hide, The Wedge, Barcelona Blues, Squad Car

Track by Track Review


Impact Zone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a bit of a "Movin' And Groovin'"-like song with a moody relentlessness and dark edge. Certainly more about the progression and mood than melody, but effective nonetheless. There are parts of the melody that remind me of Hawkwind's "Hassan I Sahba," but less melodic.

Esperanza dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's tune is reverby and emotional, and done in a very traditional fashion. It has an appealing lilt to it.

Backlash dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lot like the Strangers' "Caterpillar Crawl'" but with some different melody elements. Tribal and splashy, moody and slightly dangerous.

Moovin' And Groovin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speaking of "Moovin' And Groovin'," this is a reverby rendition of this Al Casey song. I always hear "Beat '65"'s roots in this song. Anyway, this is a tempting cover with ample splash and charm.

Moon Dawg dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Derry Weaver's claim to fame is done a lot like the Surfaris did it, but with a bit of a different charm factor. The dog howls are too fun!

Crashing Waves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic guitar lines open "Crashing Waves" with a promise of Spanish imagery and emotion. What follows is more chord-driven than surf usually is and more death on the waves than the Spanish surf genre generally implies. With the kind of flow and drama only surf instrumentals can muster, this song portrays a turbulent watery scene, much as Crystal Forest's "The Reticent Wave," less the rhythmic domination of that song. Picturesque, moody, and very coastal.

Message From Proton dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

This is a very traditional sounding surf instro. The vintage '62 melody and structure harken back to those heady days when the genre was in its infancy. The guitarists namesake song is much about reverb chord power, with a melody line that's old school progression. Some nice arranging. Very cool!

The Creature dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

"The Creature" is a bit of a circular tune with an ominous sound. Quite simple, yet dangerously compelling. This slow song is tuff and moody.

Raw-Hide
Surf (Instrumental)

Link's often covered ditty is reverby and rompin'. The midlevel energy seems appropriate, and the reverb brings it to the beach.

The Wedge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The eighties arrangement Dick Dale used on this song is the foundation for this track. Moderate energy and plenty of reverb give it a pleasant sound and attractive feeling.

Barcelona Blues dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The circling melody lines provide drama and charm, and the reverb chords provide power. This reminds me some of Ralph & The Garage Surfers aka The Unknowns in some ways, but is less hypnotic.

Squad Car dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are a few low key versions of "Squad Car" out there, each with it's own attraction. I don't mean low key as the Duo-Tones do it, but less firebrand than the original, which brings about a more textured and deliberate feeling.