Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Stingrays - Don't Fear The Reverbdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Stingrays are a much heralded high school aged surf band from San Clemente. This disc displays a talented trio with fresh ideas and respect for the roots. The writing on most tracks is particularly good, perhaps hinting of what a young Dave Wronski's writing might have been like. An excellent first issue. The sound quality is quite varied, with mixes sounding like they were done at different times in different places.
Picks: Don't Fear The Reverb, Los Mosquitos, Sunnyside Up, La Chancha, Hawaiian Pullout, Bodybag, Weiners and Beans, Pipeline, Larry's Got A Longboard, Impact Zone, Sabrina, Gone Surfing, Nitro

Track by Track Review

Don't Fear The Reverb dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pure surf right from the glissando intro. The chords are a little unusual. The lead guitar is haunting and employs long notes. The use of a couple of bits from Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reverb" bring the pieces together. Very cool adventurous and infectious surf.

Los Mosquitos dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Buzzing around like a pesky mosquito, this is a driven tune with a slight melody and real sense of the flying insect. Surf with an attitude, a gremmie determined to get between the longboarder and the tube.

Sunnyside Up dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a blending of the Allman Brothers and surf, with much more chunk and power. Not very melodic, but the structure allows for sustained attention due to the many changes and infectious playing. The rhythm track is a little like the Surf Trio's "Vibro Surf," but the comparison ends there.

La Chancha dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A woeful trumpet and delicate guitars open "La Chancha." The Latin rhythm and mariachi trumpet that accompany the guitars are perfect. this is a real pleasure to listen to, infectious and swimming with images of the coast. Excellent!

Hawaiian Pullout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hawaiian Pullout" is a remarkable well written tune, like something from Dave Wronski's pen. It's full bodied, adventurous, and up to the Slacktone par structurally. Dramatic, fluid, adventurous, and hydraulic. Excellent!

Bodybag dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bodybag" takes a fresh look at surf, with very interesting rhythms and tonality. It sports a sorta fifties detective feel, a moody surf image, and plenty of power. The sadness of the opening quickly transforms into the menace of the body bag.

Weiners and Beans dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gourmet eating is upon us as we devour the tube steak and legume delicacy. Put another way, the joys of a can of "Weiners and Beans" are soon overcome by the exhaust they create. This is a choppy tune with a whiny guitar.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid if unremarkable cover of the Chantays' classic. Powerful, but over reverbed, losing the definition required to deliver this venerable tune. Somewhat muddy, but still solid and enjoyable.

Larry's Got A Longboard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra chunk surf thrash, whammified, thundering, excellently drummed, and unusually written. Dramatic and powerful. The multiple guitar parts work well together.

Impact Zone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Impact Zone" employs an unusual structure, more like a movie theme than a surf tune. It seems less interesting and balanced than other tracks here, almost like it may have been an early piece of writing before the band really gelled. It has power, but not much magnetism.

Sabrina dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

William Herd plays solo guitar on "Sabrina," unaccompanied. It's a pretty and dramatic piece, with a sad and picturesque structure and riff. In some ways, the writing is similar to some of the early Sandals work.

Gone Surfing dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Gone Surfing" is a glissandoed celebration of the state of being, an acknowledgment that the waves beckon and they respond. It's a happy tune with an infectious drive and optimistic outlook.

Nitro dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's often covered modern epic, played like it was a punk song, with fast and furious picking. Fire down below hurries the rider to the crest. The muddy recording saps the energy out of it. The monkeying around with the tune in the middle gives it a new charm.