Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Reef Rammer Surf Band - Live at L.A. Wood 2001dotdotdotdot
artworkThis live soundboard recording was made in 2001 at L. A. Wood. It's the first evidence I've heard of a band that has haunted the surf scene for a long time in one form or another. The music is understated and very wet.
Picks: Mr. Moto, Penetration, Pipeline, Mexico, Misirlou, Sleep Walk, Death Of A Gremmie, The Victor, Wild As The Sea, In My Room, Mr. Moto (slight reprise)

Track by Track Review


Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dripping wet guitars deliver Paul Johnson's first composition with reverence and a restrained beauty. Long swimming chords and a fat bass line, and a gallon or two or Pacific swirl.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Swimming reverb, long fluid guitars, and round tone present the Pyramids' "Penetration" with a genuine feel for the period. Very cool.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pipeline" define the surf genre like no other vintage song. Its perfection has given rise to many arrangements, from aggro to lite fantastic. The Reef Rammer Surf Band plays it with lots of long delay reverb and understated chunk. This is a very pretty version of the song, with an attractive sound and chunky glissandoes.

Mexico dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mexico" is a fluid and moody original with a stunningly attractive sound and dripping wet guitar line. haunting and just a little sad, the picturesque melody creates a scene not unlike those that flow from Jim Thomas' (Mermen) guitar, though the style is much more traditional. This is a beautiful song!

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Misirlou" is played with single notes instead of the usual double picked assault. Glissandoes, a haunting guitar sound, and a liquid delivery take it to place half way between the classic Dick Dale and his Del-tones version and the authentic Mediterranean origins of the song. The heavy damped rhythm in the break is very cool.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Often covered, Santo and Johnny's "Sleep Walk" flows like water running towards the sea. Very pretty.

Death Of A Gremmie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Death Of A Gremmie" opens with soft chords as if the Reef Rammer Surf Band were going after "Comin' Home Baby." It's not the Dick Dale song. Delay and reverb combine to give the surf guitar its haunting sound.

The Victor dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bongos introduce this sultry version of Dick Dale's glorious "The Victor." In this soft arrangement, it really delivers the mystique of the middle east. The extremely liquid guitar sound and a haunting distant air are quite irresistible. Excellent!

Wild As The Sea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easily as soft as the Sandals original, but drenched in reverb, "Wild As The Sea" is quite stunning here. It reminds me a bit of the kind of liquid transmutations that Dead Men Don't Surf are able to give classic surf songs. Quite excellent!

In My Room dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Beach Boys' epic of sappy adolescence "In My Room" gets a whole new lease on life in this pretty instrumental arrangement. Very nice.

Mr. Moto (slight reprise) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is another take of "Mr. Moto" I think this is much more interesting, and sports more energy. Rich and liquefied with reverb and delay. Very tasteful.