Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Rivieras - California Sundotdot
artworkThis CD is from vinyl sources, sounds muddy, and compiles the work of the Rivieras, who were not a very good band, except for their garage surf frat anthem "California Sun." The instros are not very inspired, played with little feeling or energy, and the sound is generally amateur and muddy. All of the vocals are of no more than neighborhood garage band quality, except for their lone hit, and the followup retry "California Sun 65." This is of historical interest, but not very listenable or enjoyable, unless you think the teenagers down the street were just as good as Led Zeppelin.
Picks: Church Key, H. B. Goose Step, Battle Line, Bug Juice, Church Key Part II

Track by Track Review


Church Key dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty pedestrian performance of the Revels' classic hit. The Rivieras seem uninspired, and the organ is too overbearing in the mix. The drum arrangement is a lot like the Dave Myers & the Surftones version, but that's where the comparison ends.

H. B. Goose Step dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

This is a Johnny & the Hurricanes inspired track, with a whistling organ lead, a sorta "Rockin' Goose" melody. It's a cool organ instro, but lacks the variations and spirit of it's mentor band's creations.

Battle Line dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The "Battle Hymn Of The Republic," played with a vibrato lead, and a moderate pace, and little energy. It's an interesting variation on this ancient number, but not terribly vibrant.

Bug Juice dotdotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

This is another organ lead number, less Johnny & the Hurricanes inspired, but still pretty derivative of their sound. The guitar break is simple, but is also a pleasant change from the relatively staid sound of the rest of the track.

Church Key Part II dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Better than the prior track, the guitar dominates, and is pretty edgy. The playing is quite mechanical, and still there is little feeling present.