Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Romans - You Only Live Oncedotdotdotdot
artworkThis album doesn't look like a surf album, but it sports some very nice surf instros, and is well worth seeking out. You'll find tracks from this release on my playlists going back almost two decades. The sound is enduring, and the melodies catchy. The band is Mikey Borens (Monitor) - guitar, Pat Delaney (Deadbeats) - sax, Juan Gomez (Human Hands) - guitar, Keith Mitchell (Mazy Star) - drums, and Michael Uhlenkott (Tikis) - bass.

Vocals include: "Tuned Out," "Small World," "(I'm So) Happy," and "Big Neck."
Picks: Runway, Iron Cross, Shorebreak, Birdbrain, Nazarene, Blob, Motu Tapu, What Gives (Jan's Theme), You Only Live Once

Track by Track Review


Runway dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Runway" sports an infectious melody line, with an almost sparking sound, like the brighter moments for the Wedge, but with a more light hearted feel. This is just plain fun, and the melody strays with you long after the track is gone. Surf tones, glissandoes, and a snappy beat. A must have eighties surf instro track.

Iron Cross dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little more on the downer side, "Iron Cross" features a chunky post-punk chunka rhythm and an ominous bad-day-at-Mavericks kinda feel. Hard driving and melodic, and powerful too.

Shorebreak dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unusual track. It floats gently in and out in the "Shorebreak." It's infectious, and more than that, it holds your attention. The progression seesm to circle around, and the sound of the surf is everywhere. Fascinating.

Birdbrain dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Somewhat dissonant, a little off the beaten path, and just inside the walls of the asylum, "Bird Brain" portrays a slightly surf image of a can short of a six pack holiday. Unusual and intriguing.

Nazarene dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic and sporting discordant tonality, "Nazarene" is menacing and tribal, tom tom laden and edgy like fingernails on the blackboard of life. Intense and rumbly.

Blob dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An eighties bouncy beat carries the "Blob" across the monitors with all the chunka chunka it can muster. Riffologically driven, with great drums and cool moody sax.

Motu Tapu dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the edge of the atoll, "Motu Tapu" drives for the lip without cutting back. Optimistic and spunky, with a sense of shortboard exhilaration. Action and adventure, fun in the sun.

What Gives (Jan's Theme) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the jazzy side, "What Gives (Jan's Theme)" is a groover, a sax and guitar jammer with a slight funk and a watery edge. Slightly mean, on the cool side.

You Only Live Once dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big thundering drums, menacing sax, angry bass, and driving guitars cut through the chop with abandon. The danger is clear, but so is the courage, or at least the disregard for the risk. Out front with fast shortboard action.