Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfaders - Dragstrip Murder Mysterydotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a splendid release, with loots of really good arranging, excellent playing, and engaging music. The Surfaders have their own character, fit firmly into the surf envelope, and yet are very original. Dragstrip Murder Mystery is a superb release.
Picks: Creature From Beyond The Reef, Dragstrip Murder Mystery, Trouble In Tijuana, Interlude At Midnight Bay, El Sheik, Tranquil End To A Surfer's Day, Cuban Spy, Ridin' At Punta Lobo, Return Of The Reverb Kid, Revenge Of The Son Of The Reverb Kid, El Pistolero Desmemoriado, Mellow Moonseed, Showdown At The Tumbleweed Inn, Creature From Beyond The Reef, Dragstrip Murder Mystery

Track by Track Review


Creature From Beyond The Reef dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked lead guitar drives a tuff surf melody that's dark and dangerous. Muted delicacy separates low and high-e verses. "Creature From Beyond The Reef" is a cool instro in a heavy and gritty surf style.

Dragstrip Murder Mystery dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Glissandos, muted rhythms, heavy bass and relentless drums. "Dragstrip Murder Mystery" features a heavy thunder and a cool cycling melody riff with fine whammy chords. I like this a lot!

Trouble In Tijuana dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big slap note starts off this soft toned low-E surf instro. The melody is is really nice, and the flow of the song is a testament to the writing and arranging. "Trouble In Tijuana" has a vintage long board feel to it, but is clearly a modern composition. Glorious whammy chords and imagery complete this fine track. Excellent!

Interlude At Midnight Bay dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is simply superb in the way Jon and the Nightriders' "Amor Del Mar" and The Penetrators' "Deception Bay" are, though the latter is substantially slower. Tribal and exotic, with shimmering imagery and faint female chorus. "Interlude At Midnight Bay" immediately engages you, and does not let go. A bit Spanish, and all wonderful.

El Sheik dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The mystery of the Middle East underpins this slow double picked moodster. "El Sheik" is a splendid example of the power that can be attained playing slow dribbled double picked guitar at modest volumes. This has the kind of surf mood appeal that The Surf Raiders' wonderful "Long Boards At San Onofre" has. Superb!

Tranquil End To A Surfer's Day dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tranquil End To A Surfer's Day" moves a easily as its title suggests. Delicate pace and dribbling guitar. About halfway through, it picks up its pace to be a more traditional surf instro. A fine melody line, great chords, and a boss beat and bass line.

Cuban Spy dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Deluxe muted reverb guitar, dribbled melody lines, rhythmic chords, classy piano, and a beat and bass perfectly suited for the song. Glissandos top it off. "Cuban Spy" starts off very cool, but soon you realize you are completely hooked. Excellent writing and arranging.

Ridin' At Punta Lobo dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gentle waves lap at the shore, bringing on a superb muted reverb lead. Big tom toms, glissandos, a really fine melody line, and lovely guitar interactions. "Ridin' At Punta Lobo" is a solid track with pore surf dripping everywhere.

Return Of The Reverb Kid dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Adventurous in an open road kind of way, with a splendid structure. "Return Of The Reverb Kid" employs a number of classic elements in a way that makes it feel comfortable without feeling derivative.

Revenge Of The Son Of The Reverb Kid dotdotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Very slow and dramatic in a spaghetti western way. "Revenge Of The Son Of The Reverb Kid" is dramatic, scenic, and tribal. As it unfolds, it evolves your level of engagement. This is a rather original song, with psychedelic intensity.

El Pistolero Desmemoriado dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Dueling guitars, a superb galloping beat, and western theme merge completely as "El Pistolero Desmemoriado" unfolds. Reverb kicks, cactus imagery, and infectious rhythms. Parts of this are almost spooky intense.

Mellow Moonseed dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moving slowly through moonlit terrain, "Mellow Moonseed" paints a post-trauma calm with a blend of sadness and cautious optimism. Very effective.

Showdown At The Tumbleweed Inn dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, tremolo danger, spaghetti themes, and haunted wind provide the opening verses. Then, the pace picks up and the song becomes a traveling adventure. "Showdown At The Tumbleweed Inn" returns to the gentility, but with more intensity, and then closes out with the faster pace. It's quite nice how the energy and intensity ebb and flow. Very nicely done!

Creature From Beyond The Reef dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This live cut shows a tuff delivery and excellent artistry. Muted and double picked lead guitar really deliver the goods. Lovin' it!

Dragstrip Murder Mystery dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a solid live performance of "Dragstrip Murder Mystery," with great drums and splash.