Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Snake-Out - Royal Oak Surfabillydotdotdot
artworkSnake-Out were from Royal Oak, Michigan. They produced some of the most demented surf hybrids of any band of the eighties. They nearly invented surfabilly, and had their own little label/studio. Their music ranged from garage surf to rockabilly to psychobilly (before there was any) and blues based insanity. They were not precise. They were amazingly crazy and interesting. They issued two albums and a couple of cassettes as Snake-Out, and one as the Fuknots, plus a few compilation tracks. This two CD-R set compiles their rare output, all issued in the eighties, and mostly limited to short runs and local distribution, on labels like Wanghead With Lips. On a recent trip to Michigan, I asked the buyers at a couple of trendy little record shops in Ann Arbor about them, and they'd never heard of them. They were from Royal Oak, all of 20 miles away...
Picks: Fat Lisa, Cruncher, Tim Hangs Ten, Bonanza Vita Brevis, Bushmen Prefer Blonds, Hawaii Five-O, Lunatic, Surfin' With Ed Gein Part 1, Surfin' With Ed Gein Part 2, Out Of Limits, Surf Monster, Scary Mary Part 1, Scary Mary Part 2, Feedback In Dm, Hymen Münster, Penis Gunnis, Camel Balls

Track by Track Review


Soultrain dotdotdot
Rodeo Surf (Instrumental)

Glissandos, rodeo stomp shout & whistle beat, progression rhythm, and a surfy guitar lead. Not much to hang your hat on, but screamingly good time mechanical bull music.

Fat Lisa dotdotdotdot
Lumbering Surf (Instrumental)

Floating lumbering surf, injected with lowdown observations of "Fat Lisa." The shear size and pace of the bass lines say all that is required about the subject. Hilarious.

Floydmaster Stomp dotdotdot
Stompabilly (Instrumental)

Stomp on demand progression back room rockabilly, devoid of melody, but not lacking in energy or fun.

Cruncher dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big chord oceanic visions give way to a whammied surfabilly lead guitar and a fast paced track, with images of tribal danger and the chaos of the soup at the jetty during a thunderstorm. Evil and confused.

Tim Hangs Ten dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil feedback and chord threats open a track that quickly moves into a double picked surf rant. The almost discordant melody and the mean structure give it an air of a fast ride on dark and menacing tsunami, fast and thrilling, and ending with a slam into the west wall of a bank four blocks from the beach. Downright ugly surf.

Bonanza Vita Brevis dotdotdot
Cow Surf (Instrumental)

Twenty seven seconds of the theme from Bonanza, with hoots and hollers, and a ton of energy. Short, fast, spirited.

Bushmen Prefer Blonds dotdotdot
Tribal Surf (Instrumental)

Thirty nine seconds of surf chord progressions and imitations of monkeys between... demented jungle surfabilly.

Hawaii Five-O dotdotdot
Televsionary Surf (Instrumental)

"Pure Horse. Book 'em Danno." And so the track opens. Steve McGarret would certainly approve of the energy, if not the thrashing this classic TV theme gets at the hands of Snake-Out. Big whammy surf, double picked lines, garage intensity, and sloppy. major fun.

Lunatic dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Big ugly chord grind, rockabilly back beat, discordant surf melody, and lots of string slides. Very chunky and percussive. This unusual track straddles the line between surf and rockabilly, as defined by Snake-Out. This is as likely a place as any for the birth of surfabilly.

Surfin' With Ed Gein Part 1 dotdotdotdot
Mass Murderer Surf (Instrumental)

Clearly evil, demented sluggish sounds, insane asylum screams and the evil laughs of the keepers, and thundering tribal toms. No melody, just weird scenes inside Happy Hollow. Great concept for a surf tune. Ed Gein was a mass murderer. he was "discovered" when a decomposing body was found in the trunk of his car.

Surfin' With Ed Gein Part 2 dotdotdotdot
Mass Murderer Surf (Instrumental)

This is the song, with a strong progression based surf melody, lots of energy, and pounding drums. The darkness of the track is appropriate for a song named after a mass murderer. Evil and starkly reverbed.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A moderately competent performance of the Mar-Ketts classic. Big, dark, twangy, and echoplexed. Spirited playing, and a very live sound.

Surf Song In Dm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a driven thundering minor chord progression, surf based, thick and dark. High potency, but no melody line.

Surf Song In Dm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a driven thundering minor chord progression, surf based, thick and dark. High potency, but no melody line.

Kill Babies, Not Whales dotdot
Message Surf (Instrumental)

Interspersed with the sounds of clubbing, women screaming, and babies crying, this political statement instro is mostly a chord progression with driving drums, like it's waiting for a vocal.

Floydmaster Stomp dotdotdot
Stompabilly (Instrumental)

Stomp on demand progression back room rockabilly, devoid of melody, but not lacking in energy or fun.

Psycho Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moron-speak imitation monster talk about "eating salamanders for Sunday dinner" occupy the first fifty seconds of this track. Once past the B-movie trailer utterances, the track becomes a gloomy progression, mean and foreboding. Like many a riff rockin' instro from the fifties, there's little to call a melody, but the grind seems to work anyway.

Surf Monster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very surfy tune, with the guitar about a mile away. This is Johnny & the Hurricanes' Crossfire, reconstituted fit the surfabilly mold of Snake-Out. This would have been very powerful recorded well.

Ten Miles Of Bad Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is not a cover of Forty Miles Of Bad Road. It is a chunky chord progression backtrack, just waiting for a lead. The break features some fine raging double picked jamming, but otherwise, the lead guitar is so buried as to be virtually unnoticed.

Scary Mary Part 1 dotdotdotdot
Twisted Surf (Instrumental)

Very slow with utterly twisted guitar via extreme warble (modulation) and dramatic occasional drums rolls. Only the bass carries a tune, which is relentlessly repeated. The guitar dementia is not unlike a cross between the Reventlos and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The effect of fear and loathing in the fog shrouded back alleys is remarkable.

Scary Mary Part 2 dotdotdotdot
Twisted Surf (Instrumental)

In a continuation of Part 1, with even more demented guitar and drum duels, this very slow warbler is more dramatic and evil. It builds speed to a crescendo of silence, broken only by gentle tom toms and slight twang. Like an art rock backtrack to a haunted house murder scene, this relentlessly drive chills up your spine.

Feedback In Dm dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil incarnate! Entirely feedback delivered over a thundering drum and bass throb, this is a stunningly ugly and magnetic track. Imagine Jim Thomas is ill, and Len Puck fills in for him with the Mermen... throbbing drones, elongated low-tech feedback, and haunted howls. Brilliantly scary.

Hymen Münster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The theme to the Munsters television series, ground out with distorted guitar and a choppy delivery.

Penis Gunnis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thunderingly dark and distorted rendition of Henry Mancini's detective classic. Like Jimi Hendrix aborted Catastrophe, but with more groan and less clarity. The out of tune amateur horns in the break are like something leaking out of a high school band room. Too gruesome for words.

Monster Fuk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thuddy clunky plundering lumbering Peter Gunnish number with mostly grode edge and not much melody. It is dark, menacing, and somewhat like you night expect from Link Wray at the age of twelve. Quite remarkable. Before there was Billy Childish, there was Snake-Out aka the Fuknotz.

Camel Balls dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fundamentally garage interpretation of the obscuro Camel Walk. This is nothing like the Teisco Del Rey cover, or any other, for that matter. It is actually quite like the Saxon's original, low-tech, tribal, grode, and rhythmic. Pulsing hip sway music for the desert.