Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Phantom Surfers - The Great Surf Crash Of '97dot
Another CD from the we'll never be on CD boys. For purists who flame anyone daring to venture beyond the envelope, it's satisfying to witness the violation of their prime equipment directive, i.e. the only outboard effect allowed is a reverb tank. Here you'll find fuzz guitar. Gads, is nothing sacred? Generally this CD is very badly recorded and produced. lo-fi is an understatement. There area couple of bright spots. Here's the lo-down... get it?
Picks: The Great Surf Crash, Rootin' Around For Ramona, Pygmy Dance, Basset Ballet, Single Whammy, The Cat Came Back, Ticker Tape Jungle, Medley: X-Files Theme, The Extremely Stupid Files, Ants In My Pants, I Call My Bay D. D. T., Holiday Harbor, Babalu, Buy High, Sell Low, Yozora No Hashi, Out The Window, No Go Diggy D, Lancelot Link Wray

Track by Track Review


The Great Surf Crash
Surf (Vocal)

Dumb narration over a simple music bed. The narration is better recorded than the music.

Rootin' Around For Ramona dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Really thin sound. A good tune that could be cool, but the ambient nature of the recording with all the phasing problems leaves it hollow and undelivered.

Pygmy Dance
Surf (Instrumental)

With the bass way off to one side, and again, a spirited performance. The tune is just repetitious. The shouts and grunts are just juvenile.

Basset Ballet
Surf (Instrumental)

Another landmark departure for the purists who flame anyone daring to venture beyond their version of the truth in surf. First it was the "We'll never be on CD," and now it's a violation of the prime equipment directive, i.e. The only outboard effect allowed is a reverb tank. Well, with fuzz guitar here, I guess it's do what we say, not what we do. I suppose there's some justification in it's bad sound, but it sure seems another taboo has been adopted by the self appointed surf morality police.

Single Whammy
Surf (Instrumental)

The drums are way too high, and the ambient sound is dreadful, plus the tune is not interesting at all.

The Cat Came Back
Surf (Vocal)

A really bad cover, with a fuzzy bass and vocals that push the envelope of singing.

Ticker Tape Jungle
Surf (Instrumental)

It's nice to hear a piano lead, but it's distorted, and the melody is directionless.

Medley: X-Files Theme, The Extremely Stupid Files
Surf (Vocal)

What a joke, and I don't mean the one they meant. Moronic lyrics, and you can hear the noises made from the hand holding the microphone, and the splice between the introduction and the track is abrupt and oddly placed. The panoramics are really weird. It's no wonder they prefer mono. The sound is so reverby-metallic, it's like being in a bright clean garbage can.

Ants In My Pants
Surf (Vocal)

Fuzz again, and the severe stereo which is often criticized by the mono crowd, demonstrates a Pinto mentality. "Ants In My Pants" is just a steep away from "Rats In My Room," which was barely funny back then.

I Call My Bay D. D. T.
Surf (Vocal)

The drums must have been next door when they recorded this one. Horrid vocals, stupid lyrics, and a Sonics wanna be sound.

Holiday Harbor
Surf (Instrumental)

Acoustic, or at least dry rhythm guitar here. This is the best recorded track on this CD, though the signals are all over the place. The stereo balance doesn't work at all.

Babalu
Surf (Instrumental)

The compression thumps on the cymbals at the opening of this track tell of didn't read the directions... Otherwise, it's just inane.

Buy High, Sell Low dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great melody and decent sound in mono, but sadly lacking bottom end.

Yozora No Hashi
Surf (Vocal)

Another dumb vocal in a foreign tongue.

Out The Window dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cool tune with a great structure that could have been great if properly recorded. The sound is muddy and shallow, and the stereo is really shallow.

No Go Diggy D
Surf (Vocal)

With the catch phrase captured from the band Jon Wayne, which actually goes "No Go Diggy Die," this track sports a nice tune and reasonable stereo for a bit, but then goes to mono when the vocals come in, but not where you expect it. The return to stereo is equally out of place. It's as if some kid was playing with the mono switch, and he has no sense of timing. The guitar hard-panned is too severe.

Lancelot Link Wray
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato lead in one channel, ambient drums with stereo phase problems (probably ambiently recorded), and a repetitious riff don't keep the interest.