Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Supertones - Are Go!dotdotdot
artworkThis is a nicely remixed and remastered edition of The Wet Set coupled with the tracks from the Ride The Wild Twang CD, plus three bonus songs.

The remixes sound great on the first 14 tracks, while the rest are demo quality. The Wet Set tracks have held up well since their first issue back in 1996. With the continued evolution of the genre over the last five years, the rest of the tracks are much less important. There are also just too many covers that have been done and done and done again.

It's great to see the Supertones tracks on a label, and it's worth the price of admission. Lots of twang and reverb and straight forward surf for the fans, and a welcome addition to the library.
Picks: The Wet Set, Oceanside, Hot Line, Channel Nine, Surfista, Dr. Yes, Surf Rider, Harbor Patrol, Avanti, Flamenco Surf, Lullaby Of The Leaves, Freefall, Last Ride, Hawaii Five-0, K-39, Diamonds-a-go-go, Torque Wrench, Mr. Moto, Sand Pumper, Out Of Limits, Wingnut, Rumble, Supertone Surf, Bulldog, 1,000 Foot Road, Walk, Don't Run, Rawhide, Telstar, Penetration, Runaway, No Matter What Shape, Bumble Bee Twist

Track by Track Review


The Wet Set dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nicely played and recorded, gentle, and somewhere between Richie Podolor and the Ventures. "The Wet Set" sports a circular riff a la Rake and the Surftones.

Oceanside dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speaking of Podolor, he played lead guitar on the Super Stocks original version of this Gary Usher tune. Very smooth and less energetic than the Super Stocks.

Hot Line dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hot Line" is a fine original, with cool glissandoes and an interesting melody riff. The drums are very fine, and the really high wet runs are great... no, that's not diarrhea from drugs...

Channel Nine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A gentle cover of one of the Challengers' best originals, also known as "Hop Scotch." Very nice gentlemen.

Surfista dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool Paul Johnson-ish progressions and a racing melody riff with warm open road leanings... nicely structured and a tip of the hat to the Super Stocks style. Very smooth.

Dr. Yes dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dr. Yes" is very pretty song with a gentle melody that sticks to you. Enjoyable and soothing.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little too fast to capture the point of the original or the Lively Ones' classic cut, yet with excellent drums and a groovy batch of whammy, it makes the grade. The raspy low down sax is a nice touch. Quite cool.

Harbor Patrol dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Harbor Patrol" is a restrained tune with a fluid structure. The melody riff is interesting, and the tone very appropriate for the theme. The melody riff is interesting, and the tone very appropriate for the theme. Quite surfy.

Avanti dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well, not that I'm gonna let the fact that this track is named after my favorite automobile ever made influence my review, but... The lead/rhythm counter melodies are really nice to hear in surf. It has a great feel to it. I like it a lot... and the car too! This fine melody is warm and inviting, the glissandoes are great, and the trad feel updated just enough. Excellent drums and rhythm.

Flamenco Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Flamenco Surf" a.k.a. "Flamingo Stomp" sports very nice interplay between the guitars. Fun and cool.

Lullaby Of The Leaves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' arrangement of this venerable classic, while competent and enjoyable, breaks no new ground, and has nothing that really makes it theirs.

Freefall dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A quiet and different arrangement of Richie Podolor's wonderful melody. The acoustic rhythm guitar is a nice touch, and carries this right along. Sad and moody, and a little exotic, "Freefall" is a pleasant respite from the angry sea.

Last Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Last Ride" is their best original I think. More energy than most of their other tracks. An infectious riff and rhythmic backtrack, pushed out with a real surf sound and a great walking bass line. Nice track for sure.

Hawaii Five-0 dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hawaii Five-0" has been done and done and done... The arrangement seems out of sync with the song... giant drums and all too quiet guitars.

K-39 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This credible cover of the Challengers' "K-39" is driven by powerful drums. Nothing special.

Diamonds-a-go-go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jet Harris and Tony Meehan's groovy single is kinda murky here. Its low-low lead and rumbling bass give "Diamonds" it a dissonant sound.

Torque Wrench dotdotdot
Ventures Surf (Instrumental)

Bits of "Competition Coupe" and a Ventures-ish dryer sound. Great drums, and a solid effort in a nineties surf vein.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Belairs' first original classic from 1961 is nicely played, but is just another in a very long line of covers.

Sand Pumper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thrashy rhythms and a friendly riff together in a solid and fast song. Lots of energy and garagy sound.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Remix or not, this remains just moderate cover of the Mar-Ketts' classic Billboard hit.

Wingnut dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped picking with tasty glissandoes and an open road rhythm. The high note damped reverbed fills are quite cool. "Wingnut" is not the Sandals' classic of the same name.

Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's album arrangement of "Rumble" is OK, but is nothing special. Enjoyable and thumpy.

Supertone Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pumped drums a la "Squad Car" and a distorted guitar melody are the main elements in this cool song, which sports a hard edge and reverb. Satisfying.

Bulldog dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs are surfed up and slightly energized in a sorta Ventures sounding arrangement.

1,000 Foot Road dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"1,000 Foot Road" is a rhythmic song that relies on a cool riff, but the distorted recording is unfortunately not complimentary.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' 1960 arrangement of Johnny Smith's signature tune, all grunged out with reverb and fuzzy bass.

Rawhide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's rockin' riff rocker opens with "how 'bout I kick your fat ass... Rawhide!" The piano is a nice touch, giving this surf grunge treatment a vintage sound despite the fuzz bass.

Telstar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The effects are cool, but the organ lead lacks the power and grodiness of the Tornados' original. Too tepid for my taste.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Pyramids' hit is well played in an eighties LA surf band vein with lots of energy. The arrangement is essentially the Ventures', though it's extra fuzzy. Not very fresh.

Runaway dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A murky version of "Runaway" is a bonus track from 1992. Rough demo sound. Just filler.

No Matter What Shape dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Also very murky, the T-Bones' Billboard hit "No Matter What Shape" is captured in an unremarkable recording.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again from '92, this is a competent a cover of the Ventures' arrangement. Chunky and well played.