Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Preps - Moon Racer c/w It Ain't Green Cheese On The Moon Baby (It's Mozzarella)
|The Preps a.k.a. the New Arrivals were one of the great pop-rock bands of the San Jose scene circa 1965. This incredible instrumental release comes from an almost entirely vocal band that generally played on the lighter side of the aisle, along with fellow South Bay show band the Jaguars. Seldom heard, this single ranks among the essential surf records.|
Picks: Moon Racers, It Ain't Green Cheese On The Moon Baby (It's Mozzarella)
Track by Track Review
"Moon Racers" is a stunningly cool surf instro, and as the band says in the liners, it reflects their roots in instros and surf. The soaring whammy chords, the space surf feel, the dramatic production, and the well thought out mix all contribute to this fine instro. It's the kind of track raises the hair on the back of your neck. Rumor had it back then that a very large number of takes was required to get the sound and performance they wanted, and for my money it was very much worth the effort. This track alone is worth the price of admission.
Interestingly enough, it was written by Herb Alpert and Scott Turner!
I first came to it from KLIV's tendency to use it as a bumper in 1965, and later in that year while visiting friend and DJ-mentor Squeaky Martin during his overnight weekend shift there, I was fortunate enough to pull this lacquer disc they had discarded from their junk barrel, a source for many surf singles still in my collection, along with many great garage punk singles.
It Ain't Green Cheese On The Moon Baby (It's Mozzarella)
The B-side of the single is in the post Booker T. and the MG's / Bar-Kays / Mar-Keys vein, with organ lead and club suave keyboard riffs. So unlike the A-side, it's hard to imagine it's the same band. Within the genre, it's as cool as the legendary Merced Bluenotes singles.