Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Thom Starr and the Galaxies - Sons Of The Beachdotdotdot
artworkThis is the Thom Starr and the Galaxies album that almost was. Thom Starr was a contemporary of Paul Johnson and The Belairs, whose sound this sure influenced. rare is an understatement!
Picks: The Launching Pad, Strange Fever I (Just Before Dawn), No. 1 Son, The Big Ding, Cherry Wipe Out, Surfer's Bubble, Woodie Welcome Wagon Part 2, Jellyfish Kiss, Sand Blast

Track by Track Review


The Launching Pad dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Partly built around "You Can't Sit Down," this track sports some cool surf guitar and early Belairs' style sax. A bit on the jammy side, but genuine and raw.

Strange Fever I (Just Before Dawn) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Introduced with the progression that opens The Belairs' "Kamikaze," "Strange Fever" aka "Just Before Dawn" has a pretty chunky sound, with sax and great drums.

No. 1 Son dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is pretty cool. "No. 1 Son" is a riff rocker, but it has surf chunk and is much more engaging than many such instros, and the guitar break is pretty strong. With a title suggesting The Belairs ("Mr. Moto" & "Charlie Chan"), you'd expect a more Belairs sound.

The Big Ding dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gourd and an exotic rhythm and beat liberated from "Tequila" create a compelling Mexican attraction. The double picked melody is quite nice. Poppy, yet genuine surf. I like this.

Woodie Welcome Wagon Part 1 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big splash chord opening, then a frat rock structure with great drums. "Woodie Welcome Wagon Part 1" isn't very memorable, except historically.

Cherry Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool drums and what is essentially The Belairs' "Rampage" played with dark reverb guitar and strong drums. This just feels like the real deal, as if you were right there at the Retail Clerk's Hall. The double picked verse rules!

Surfer's Bubble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfer's Bubble" is on the happy side, with a South Bay feel and basic sound. Its melody is catchy and uplifting.

Woodie Welcome Wagon Part 2 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very much unlike part 1, "Woodie Welcome Wagon Part 2" is lumbering and dark, with rich tone and a rhythm that's almost Indian. The drums are exotic, and the melody very cool and island cool. This is an excellent song.

Jellyfish Kiss dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A glissando and some Dick Dale-isms launch this track, which has elements of a slowed "Moon Dawg." The rhythm track is kind of infectious, and the rough sound fitting. The sax is dangerous.

Sand Blast dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Inspired by Dick Dale, "Sand Blast" is a mid tempo blast with a sort of frat rock structure. Rockin' drums and shiny reverb. Boy does this sound like 1962! Gritty and primitive.