Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
SPF-4 - Surf Session 1 (We Don't Sing No Stinkin' Vocals)dotdotdot
artworkThis first demo set features a lot of covers well played, but mixed with lead and rhythm hard-panned. Most of these tracks deserve much better. The performances are excellent, and most of the cover choices are either uncommon or rearranged in a way that suits the band well. I found I really liked some of these tracks, and would really like to see this band.
Picks: Collision Course, The Rising Surf, Loophole, The Ninth Wave, Latin'ia, Cruel Sea, Jack The Ripper, Mr. Moto, Surfin' St. Helens, Crystal-T, Perfidia, The Lonely Bull, Surf Rider, Sleep Walk, The Lonely Sea

Track by Track Review

Collision Course dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Good Guys' classy "Collision Course" is very nicely done, with a rich vibrato charm and solid beat. It's not often covered, and makes a nice choice to show off a solid band.

The Rising Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While listed as "The Rising Surf" (Richard Podolor), this is a radical rearrangement of Dick Dale's "The Wedge." Gutsy and pumped up, with a strong sound. Very nice!

Loophole dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is another great choice of covers. I can't think of another band doing the Royal Coachmen's catchy "Loophole," and it's quite strong. Solid and powerful, with rich tone and sustain.

The Ninth Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another fine choice, the Ventures' single "The Ninth Wave" is overlooked and well worth doing. Rhythmic and thick, with solid thunder and energy.

Latin'ia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The heavy chunk of the rhythm in slow motion, and the choice of playing the lead much like Jim Waller and the Deltas makes this a very strong track. Pulsing and full bodied, with very nice guitar work over a wonderful rhythm track.

Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Maxfield's signature song is nicely done in a very tasteful way. Simply a pleasure.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drums open, bass thunder comes on, guitar rhythms press with danger, and whammy guitar carries the lead. A fine cover of one great instro!

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's earliest and most familiar song is played against a ska rhythm guitar and rock beat. Thick and very nice.

Surfin' St. Helens dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' St. Helens" is a fine song with a driving with the top down feeling. Some drama, some flow, and warmth too. Melodic and motion oriented, with rich splash.

Crystal-T dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays' "Crystal-T" evolved during their second coming. The ska-like second guitar and rock beat drive the song well. A nice choice.

Perfidia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Alberto Dominguez's classy "Perfidia" is slithery and enticing. The nod to the Ventures is clear, but it's also kind of tropical and lush. Very nice arrangement.

The Lonely Bull dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sol Lake's most famous song has been done in a variety of ways. This is slowish and kind of saucy. Not gorgeous like Dream Syndicate or Mermen versions, but more like a rock band looking in the eyes of love. Very nice!

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's nothing special here, except for a very smooth and basic sound that fit the song well. I can't say that's unusual. There just aren't any versions in the same neighborhood as the Lively Ones.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Way too often covered, and seldom done with more slither than the original, this is nonetheless engaging because of the sheer volume.

The Lonely Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The military beat behind the Ventures' splendid "The Lonely Sea" adds immensely to the intensity of the lead guitar. The contrast between the quiet beauty of the melody and the large sound of the lead create quite a stir. The Eliminators are the only other band I can think of that do this. Very cool!