Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Primitivos - Blue Tarpdotdotdot
artworkThis is a very unusual set of music for the surf genre. Horns play a prominent role, but not in the usual raucous way or the mariachi way. Rather, they are loungy and smooth. It's a fresh approach that's very cool. The performance are mostly toned down, and all of the songs are common covers, but their use of classic arrangements with sax used in an unorthodox fashion makes this an enjoyable CD. It's not "hot," but hearing surf classics in easier going arrangements is unusual.
Picks: Let's Go Trippin', Pipeline, Boss, Squad Car, The Work Song, Telstar, Runaway, Last Night, 007 Theme, Mr. Moto, A Taste of Honey, Wipe Out, Surf Rider, Rawhide

Track by Track Review


Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fairly straight forward cover of Dick Dale and his Del-tones' "Let's Go Trippin'," though it's pretty tamed down. It's funny how much more surfy it is this way. Very nice track.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

There is just about no more recognizable glissando than the opening of "Pipeline." With shimmering piano in tact, this is quite a refreshing cover. It's pretty true to the Chantays' ' original, but with the soft horn, it's got a softer edge.

Boss dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Where the Rumblers' honked this loudly, The Primitivos do it with a gentler sound. It still works very well , and is a very nice find.

Squad Car dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

The drums call out the cops loud and hard. The guitars run a little light power wise, but that just gives it an easier sound. Very cool to hear like this.

The Work Song dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Big grins here. It's like the Tijuana Brass version, more or less. Nat Adderley woulda wanted something less rocky, but this sure is fun. By the time it gets to middle, you're hooked in.

Telstar dot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

A too-soft light weight keyboard playing the melody is lost in the mix. Remix or pass on it.

Runaway dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

A slowish run-through of Del Shannon's "Runaway" with sax lead is surprisingly enjoyable. It's light and easy, yet quite nice.

Last Night dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Keys' "Last Night" is arranged a lot like the Charades' "Get It," but softer. Pure frat rock fun with just a bit of suave.

007 Theme dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Little Jimmy Bond is shimmered with tremolo and reverb. The soft approach is quite interesting. Nicely done.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

With requisite mild manner and reverb in tow, The Primitivos do a very reverent treatment of Paul Johnson's classic "Mr. Moto." The piano even tips its hat to Jim Roberts' fine work on the original single. Aside from one very noticeable guitar error and an out of tune guitar, this stands up quite well.

A Taste of Honey dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Horn like Herb Alpert plays lead on this tame but fun version of "A Taste of Honey." This one is nicely done, but doesn't stand out.

Wipe Out dotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Relatively like the Surfaris' single, but with a lot less energy and lacking Ron Wilson's flair on drums. Few have successfully covered this. Its not an easy task.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

The horn's honkin' lines in the opening, as well as their accompanying groove gives Nokie Edwards' "Surf Rider" a gentler sound. Its a tribute to the writing that it can work this way as well as with the loud tribal reverb of the Lively Ones. Nice track.

Rawhide dotdotdot
Horn Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's punchy and raucous "Rawhide" is done nicely. The drums have more fun than anyone else here, but it's a very serviceable version.