Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Satan's Pilgrims - Soul Pilgrimdotdotdot
artworkThis is a mixed bag. In fact, it's a catch-up of previously issued vinyl and cassette releases. First, the good stuff. There's a reasonable number of classic surf covers that deliver the goods, but there are way too many covers out there now that don't break any new ground and don't like up to the originals either. This is the case here sometimes. If you don't own much surf, or if you like frat surf bands, you'll be happy with this.
Picks: Soul Pilgrim, Steel Pier, Plymouth Rock, Scatter Shield, Backyard Compost, Morpheus, Spoke, Shit Sandwich, Pilgrim Stomp, Beach Creep, Action Plus, Small Craft Advisory, Shootin' The Pier, Haunted House Of Rock '95, Let's Go To The Beach.

Track by Track Review

Soul Pilgrim dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This organ heavy track uses a bass line similar to Kraftwerk's "The Model." It is a lesser track, mostly just riff rock. I don't think it should have opened the CD.

Steel Pier dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Steel Pier" is pretty cool, trad and more reverby than the Impacts original. It's a solid surf delivery, with big whammy chords where the lap steel would be expected to do the tremolo slides. Nice version.

Plymouth Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Plymouth Rock" is a solid progression based surf original, with a crunchy delivery and cool tom toms. It's not too melodic, but it's quite solid. A set full of songs like this would drag, but a few are quite tasty. Good power.

Scatter Shield dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This version of the Surfaris' great "Scatter Shield" uses the wrong melody line. Otherwise, it's pretty accurate. Energetic, with fine reverb kick clutch explosion simulation. Good track.

Backyard Compost dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is mostly a riff with organ and fifties guitar tones. I couldn't stay with it for the duration. Think the Kingsmen try surfing, but wipe out.

Morpheus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This cover of the Toads' catchy "Morpheus" is pretty darn good, right on performance wise, and slightly more gutsy.

Spoke dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Motorcycle noises and chorded rhythm guitars, with big wah wah lead and a riff... in other words, not very interesting, though the use of wah wah is a nice touch, just too brief.

Shit Sandwich dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's no need to rush right down to the Seven Eleven looking for the freshest "Shit Sandwich" on the shelf. It's right here. Crunchy surf, with a riff that does OK as a melody, and plenty of damped surf rhythms. This is an infectious track.

Pilgrim Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, and swimming whammy over reverbed rhythm guitar combine with a Link Wray simple chord lead that surely pleases. It's way simple, but quite nice. This may be the highlight of the disc.

Beach Creep dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is inspired by "Midnight Run" in the opening, but loses ground by leaning heavily on a basic riff. The surf tones are great, and some of the picking is pretty spiffy. Overall, it works fine. The song sports chunk and an organ, and a surfy lead melody. A little Super Stocks like, a little garage pop, a little "Whittier Blvd." in the progression, and a little infectious. Also called "Beach Creep."

Action Plus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cross between a surf tune and a go-go track, with strong surf guitar work and a slightly-more-than-riff melody line. This will do nicely, thank you.

Small Craft Advisory dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I keep wanting to like this track, but the mix doesn't match the arrangement where the bass is alone, and the the melody, while good, just doesn't seem to stick in the gray matter long. It has a crunchy surf sound, but is more crunch than bite.

Shootin' The Pier dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Credited to the Lively Ones, whom I'm sure they learned it from, this is actually Freddie King's "Heads Up." It's a pretty solid garage cover of the Lively Ones' arrangement, slightly chunkier, but not as interesting. The bass break is cool.

Haunted House Of Rock '95 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The vibrato matched with the picking is real cool. The haunted house idea is too. The throbbing makes it work. Dark and evil, this hides in the shadows and mugs you.

Let's Go To The Beach. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is Larry and the Loafers' obscuro, mostly instro with a chorus of "Let's Go To The Beach." Fun at frat parties, but it doesn't stand up to multiple listenings very well.