Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Rincon Surfside Band - The Surfing Songbookdot
artworkThis is a repro of a bad idea gone to seed. The idea? Make a buck by cutting backtracks for the Beach Boys' and Jan and Dean's hits, and pawning the whole thing off as a sing along of your favorite surf pop vocals. What's the point? I suppose in this day and age of Karaoke, this is not so far off the mark. Still, it leaves me flat. The musicians were among the usual suspects of the day, including Phil Sloan and Steve Barri, Tommy Tedesco, and Hal Blaine. This project was cut at Western Recorders on May 21st, 1965.
Picks: Surfin' Safari, Surfer Girl, Sidewalk Surfin', Surfin' U.S.A., Surfin', Ride The Wild Surf, Hawaii, Drag City, Little Deuce Coupes, Honolulu Lulu, Surf City, Skateboard Craze

Track by Track Review

Surfin' Safari dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Chorus and all, this is much like a repro without the lead vocals. The high point is the damped reverbed lead guitar that's playing with such low energy.

Surfer Girl dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Beach Boys harmonies less lead vocals, which were replaced by a restrained guitar. Pretty darn sappy.

Sidewalk Surfin' dotdot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

The lead is better here than on most of the other tracks on this album, but aside from a credible tone, it's quite restrained and low key.

Surfin' U.S.A. dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

The lead here is played on the low registers for a semi surfy sound, but as elsewhere, the lack of energy doesn't bring it to life.

Surfin' dotdotdot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

This is probably the most interesting cover here. Almost all of the barbershop/doo wop is replaced with vibrato and reverb guitar gently shimmering with great restraint. It almost rises to the level of good.

Ride The Wild Surf dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

The Leslie effected lead is kinda carnival, while the life and fire of the Jan and Dean hit is nowhere in sight.

Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Soft rock for soft people... shiny and non intrusive, this elevator interpretation just doesn't make it.

Drag City dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Is that a twelve string? Listen to the T-Bones instead.

Little Deuce Coupes dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Low register lead guitar played like it's in a library and no one should hear is balanced against the gentle rhythms and chorus... texturally nice, but uninspired.

Honolulu Lulu dot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

The Leslie lead is cute, but it doesn't capture any of the fire of the hit.

Surf City
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

Never mind the arguments about which city is surf city, if this tepid session is its theme, it's not worth the trip anyway. Lawrence Welk used more energy than this.

Skateboard Craze dotdotdot
Karaoke Surf (Instrumental)

"On Top Of Old Smokey" morphed into a rhythmic track with actually quite nice lead guitar nearly makes the grade, but alas, the chorus holds it back.