Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Papaya Kings - Don't Fear The Reverbdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Papaya King's debut disc is a surf monster. It is loaded with flair and power, solid writing, and exceptionally good playing. There are no dogs on the disc, and no relaxation either. Solid top to bottom. It also sports one of the best CD titles of the year! "Green Dodge Dart (with three chicks in the back)" (track 14) is a live vocal with pure surf backing and rockabilly vocal stylings, and a sense of the kinda tune that appeared in the soundtrack to Back To The Beach. This is a strong CD.
Picks: Theme, Hyperactive, The Goner, Chasing A Mermaid, Man or Mancini, Zombie Creep, Adventure, Rippin', On The Strip, Mr. Ed, Raki, The Corny One, Alone At Midnite, Theme (outro)

Track by Track Review

Theme dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

A moderately pumped version of Bobby Fuller's most familiar track. The demo thump sorta gets in the way, but the performance is spot-on, and the feel is perfecto. The guitar work is nice, especially the glowing glissandoes.

Hyperactive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A boss cover of the Astronauts rarity, rhythmically pumped out, with solid infectious textures. This is one of the Astronauts' quirkier recordings to cover, and it's melody is quite catchy. It fades in at the start. The rhythm guitar is playing a really nice little pattern that is different than the original, and it really adds to the piece. This is fairly garagie, sounding maybe like it's a live session. Excellent track.

The Goner dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

The progression based tune has a charm and rhythmic attraction, as well as a surf crash sensibility.

Chasing A Mermaid dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic, edgy, and desperately seeking a microphone, this would be well served if better recorded. Grindy, thrashing drums, and a Link Wray in the garage sensibility.

Man or Mancini dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

The Dickster's post "Surf Beat" grinder, with a clear target on the block party. A ton of edge, a sneak assault, and a surf crasher.

Zombie Creep dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Having fun with Henry Mancini's film theme, more surfy than Davie Allan's versions, but sloppily delivered. Can you say "party?"

Adventure dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Well, it's truly plodding, accented with reverby guitar lines, and based on a riffola.

Rippin' dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

The traditional Jewish song, made a surf standard by Dick Dale, and recreated in a garage across the street for you by the transportation borrowers. Spirited, but not well played.

On The Strip dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

Rhythmic, off-time surf chord chunk. Infectious and made to be loved.

Mr. Ed dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

This fine tune, is written most unusually, with odd progressions, a halting delivery, and a special chord driven feel. It is magically infectious.

Raki dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

This minor key tune is a progression with no sense of time, but then it doesn't seem to matter. Tunafish on a wry sense of humor.

The Corny One dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Quite reminiscent of "Born Free," this is a floating track with MOR tendencies. Nicely structured, and pleasant listening.

Alone At Midnite dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's a timer ticking away in this slow number, and a menacing few notes played over the spy flick backtrack. In the beak, there's some fine whammy vibrato. For such a no melody tune, it's quite interesting and fun.

Theme (outro) dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

Randy Holden (the Fender IV) released this in 1964. Here, we find the relentless drone accented by the high register second guitar chord work. The playing good, and the energy is solid.