Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Super Stocks - Thunder Roaddotdotdotdot
artworkGerman bootleg label SURF issued this. Many duplications with the M&M release, and like that issue, this is all sourced from vinyl. However, there are some tracks here not found elsewhere, so if you find the Super Stocks interesting, this will be mandatory. The 35 tracks range from great to only for the completist. This CD has no liner notes at all. Available at many indie stores.
Picks: "T" Roadster, Ramcharger, Wheel Stands, Trophy Run, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Redondo Beach, Balboa Island, Oceanside, Midnight Run, Newport Beach, Gridiron Goodie, The Last Walk

Track by Track Review


"T" Roadster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is a pretty standard progression much in the style of so many studio tracks, exhibiting little of the Super Stocks prowess. It has no direction, but some tasty sax work and great drums.

Ramcharger dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This number is closer to what would become the signature Super Stocks instro sound, though still unremarkable in the melody department, and uninspired in the performance, except for the drums. That all said, this studio group gelled in ways that few others did.

Wheel Stands dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is another simple progression with sax accents, not much more complex than "Ramcharger," but with organ breaks instead of sax. Yet, there's something gong on with the progression that captures your ear.

Trophy Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Studio wizardry on guitar, though it's more repetitious than I usually like. The players include Richard Burns, Hal Blaine, and Leon Russell.

Ventura dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Here, Richie Podolor's lead playing and Gary Usher's melody bring immense improvement to the sound of the Super Stocks, and are accented well with Leon Russell's piano pumping. The rhythm track is infectious and the melody fine.

Santa Barbara dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rhythmic and chunky track from the pen of Gary Usher, with the lead and rhythm linked in time. The overall effect is an interesting and infectious song with great drums.

Redondo Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Gary Usher tune is less melodic than most here. It's more rhythm oriented, and employs a sax bridge. It is a relatively tame track for Podolor's guitar playing.

Balboa Island dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A thin guitar leads this Gary Usher progression that rides over a fifties-style backtrack. It is not particularly interesting, even though it is named for the center of Paul Johnson's South Bay Surf Scene. It never quite gets going.

Oceanside dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richie Podolor's pristine guitar tones and the fine melody from a collaboration of Gary Usher and Richard Burns combine to make a fine instro. It is very much typical of the classic Super Stocks sound at it's best, defined by Podolor's guitar and the rhythmic underpinnings of Sandy Nelson or Hal Blaine (drums), Richard Burns (bass), and Leon Russell (piano). Podolor's addition to this group made an immense difference. This track is a splendid surf tune, displaying both a gentle sound and a powerfully rhythmic nature.

Midnight Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is THEE defining Super Stocks track. It is melodic, dramatic, emotional, powerful, dynamic, and highly melodic. It was written by Gary Usher, Richard Burns, and Roger Christian. It has one of the most infectious sounds of any of the more layered less assaultive surf instros. Totally great.

Newport Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sad and ominous minor key marvel, distant and infectious. Very nice writing from Usher & Burns and extremely fine playing by Podolor. Moody and mysterious, with a dramatic piano riff and haunted guitar.

Gridiron Goodie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This badly titled track features a tight melody line, and a rhythmic backtrack, with fine playing by Podolor and the whole crew. The chords that open are rich, and the melody riff engaging. The break is a bit too jam-like for me, but otherwise it is a fine track.

The Last Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This very pretty track is just as sad and romantic as you might expect from the title. It has a country melody line, and a slow-dance backtrack with brilliant Ferrante and Teischer-like piano work. Quite a nice track.