Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Sandals - Wild As the Sea - Complete Sandals 1964-1969
|It's about time! 24 original instrumentals from one of the more famous and illusive bands of the original era. Some of their music is surf in the classic sense, and some is not. |
A little background: '63 saw the formation of the Shadows, and with a name change , the Twangs. They were "discovered" by World Pacific (record company) after becoming the Sandells. They were heavily influenced by the Ventures and Duane Eddy. Gaston Georis once told me they didn't do too much of the staccato Surf style, which they only occasionally used. They always preferred the dryer sound. Their first album called Scrambler was issued in 1964 on World Pacific under the Sandells name. In '65, the album was reissued when it was used by Bruce Brown for his seminal surf film "The Endless Summer." By the time the film emerged, the label had changed their name to the Sandals.
Founding members Walter and Gaston Georis now live in Carmel and operate a restaurant and their Tri-Surf Records label.
There are a handful of vocals here, like the fake stereo folk rocky "Always (I Will Remember)," "All Over Again," a vocal called "Endless Summer," The pop-psych drone of "Tell Us Dylan," the carnival Boston sound of "Why Should I Cry," the orchestral pop psych of "Cloudy," and the horror pop-psych of "House Of Painted Glass."
Picks: Theme From 'The Endless Summer', Scrambler, 6-Pak, Driftin', Good Greeves, Decoy, Out Front, Wild As The Sea, Trailing, Jet Black, Lonely Road, TR-6, School's Out, Winter Spell, Children Of The Sun, Agunus Night, Yellow Dove, Soul Something, Coming Down Slow, Summer's Gone, Return From The Casino, Flowers To Dance On, Water And Stone, Porsche
Track by Track Review
Theme From 'The Endless Summer'
Classic Film Score Surf (Instrumental)
"Theme From The Endless Summer" is a world renowned tune. It incorporates nontraditional instruments and has been an influence to many others. The use of melodica is particularly interesting.
"Scrambler" sports an infectious rhythm and sparse lead guitar. The tone is dry, yet aquatic and appealing. The thinness of the arrangement is part of its charm, as is the shallow whammy.
This is a splendid melody, with a warm sunny day feel and adequate twang to live in the surf despite its complete lack of reverb. Quite excellent.
This Hank Marvin tune is chunked and thumped like the Shadows never did it. Rhythmic and energetic, and stylistically Sandals.
A sorta carnival organ guides this tune through a relentless progression with little to break the sameness, except for a few blues bars of guitar jam.
This tune starts with interesting chords, then drops right into a fine hook and simple melody line. It's playful, but still intense enough. Dramatic without being pompous. The pumping piano is so groovy. A fine classic track.
Fast paced, ringing chords, and an unchanging progression. Energetic, but note very interesting.
This is a slow and familiar tune, with a wistfully breezy lilt to it, and an almost siesta imagery. It's not fast, but rather a romantic mid tempo number employing sultry vibrato and melodica. Nice listening.
"Trailing" is a high school pomp and stroll with noodly guitar and a bit of shimmer. Pimpled line dances abound.
Plunky, salsa and chips, watery twang, and tequila worms seem to float through this Jet Harris tune, with it's quirky tango beat, and occasional injections of "jet black." Very fun track.
Exotic percussion, a Latin rhythm, and a gentle wispy melody played on a dry and plaintiff guitar. Pretty, but not dominating. A good backdrop to the floatier side of the evening. References to the Endless Summer theme are many, with the melody being shared in spots.
This is thee surf monster here, thumpy, pumped, dynamic, whammy dipped, and intense. Major energy spews from every corner. A picker's dream, it flows with a rolling swell, employing double picked rhythmic guitar chops and ringing chords. Even the drum break is interesting. What a big surf rage this is!
"School's Out" is a light weight mid tempo song with a great melody line. In a heavier presentation with some reverb, it could rock. As is, it's just OK.
This is one soft more-or-less acoustic number. "Winter Spell" moves very slowly through a gradual progression that's a little moody. Pretty, but unremarkable.
"Children Of The Sun" is a slow and almost Andean track with a picturesque and mysterious ambiance. Once the electric guitar comes in, it takes on a semi-psychedelic flavor. Bongos, guitars, and moody scenery.
The other song with this title is the ultra intense monster from the Misunderstood.
The Leslie swirls the organ's mood while the bass gurgles a promenade. The electric guitar whines about the night while the organ lays out its churchy chords.
"Yellow Dove" seems almost military in structure, with a noodly guitar line that hints of Indians and light drama.
Soul Jam (Instrumental)
"Soul Something" is more a Memphis guitar jam than a song, sounding like a Stax-Volt instro wannabe with creaking hinges.
Soft Psych (Instrumental)
Here we have a frothy soft rock jam in a kind of grooving in your chair style. About a minute-twenty in, it suddenly turns soft psych with haunting slow vibrato. The last two minutes of the song is way more interesting than the beginning. Quite moody.
Soft Rock (Instrumental)
Slow and soft, "Summer's Gone" barely gets off the ground. While it's pretty, it's also a long ways from interesting. About half way in, it gets a bit of electricity, but never really gels.
Psychedelic Cavern (Instrumental)
The bongos launch solo for about thirty seconds before some wind and eerie guitar floats in. The almost ghostly distant howls and feedback create the illusion of being in a cavernous underground chamber. A little like Leo Kottke, somewhat psychedelic, brooding and dramatic, "Return From The Casino" builds to a nervous crescendo before returning to the vibrato howl. Quite cool! The last forty-five seconds or so is a psych swirl of guitar jam and chop.
Post Surf (Instrumental)
The Leslie guitar plays a fluid melody that's more like the Sandals of old. Hints of film drama and flights of fancy float on this Gaston Georis composition. Nice.
"Water And Stone" is a soft acoustic piece that's pretty enough. Then, as the drums come in and the guitar climbs a bit, it takes on a more arty sound. A great composition, with an interesting flow.
A little jazzy, a little Latin, this seems like a bouncy and fun tune for the back-"Porsche"-majority. The "Eleanor Rigby" influences are juxtaposed against a post hippie California air.