Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfaris (Bob Berryhill) - Walkin' On Waterdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is quite a nice release from Bob Berryhill's version of the Surfaris. It's his second release, and it's miles above the first, with songs that hearken back to their '64-65 output, but less Jim Fuller's guitar. It's a solid surf sound.

This lineup is a family affair, with Bob and his wife and two boys playing together. The band on this set is original member of the band Bob Berryhill - lead guitar on most tracks, Deven Berryhill - rhythm guitar on most tracks, Joel Berryhill - drums, and Gene Berryhill - bass.

Generally speaking, the rhythm guitar is at odds with the surfability of many of these tracks. Unlike the jangle of the twelve string in "Storm Surf" from the last days of the band's classic sound, the dry jangle seems to be out of place, but that doesn't stop this from being a very enjoyable and surf worthy release.
Picks: Walkin' On Water, Avalanche, Wipe Out, Powow at Secret Cove, Dream at Dusk, Hot Surf Sunday, Surfer Joe, Magic Sands, Thrasher, Night Drive

Track by Track Review

Walkin' On Water dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and solid bass support an unusual lead riff that seems part surf and part riff rock. The rhythm guitar seems out of place. There's power and spunk here, and optimism too. Aside from the annoying rhythm guitar, this is quite a nice track.

Avalanche dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Avalanche" is a solid surf track with a great classic sixties style surf riff, backed by solid bass and drums. This is a great track, with only the jangle of the rhythm guitar seems to detracting from its power and symmetry. A few fast glissandos and the double picking add to the surf rage.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Wipe Out" is covered entirely too often. It's barely a riff rocker, and it's the magic drums of Ron Wilson that made it work in the first place. Joel Berryhill gets the beat right, which is quite a feat in itself, but his precision keeps him from rising to the fluidity of Wilson's attack. The guitar tome is right and the overall sound very appropriate. This is perhaps the best cover in a very long time, but it's also nearly a replication, which is great for the oldies concert crowd.

Powow at Secret Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Powow at Secret Cove" is a unique and interesting track. The tweaky nature of the introductory riff is catchy and endearing. The melody line is friendly, though the eighties string bending and guitar tone seems a little odd to me ear. The rhythm guitar works OK, but just imagine if it was damped and reverbed single note powered instead. Lamenting other potential does not detract from the effectiveness or enjoyability of this track. It's inventive and stunningly liquid.

Dream at Dusk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The dry rhythm that introduces the track foretells of its irritating conflict with the aquatic nature of the rest of the song. The melody riff to "Dream at Dusk" is interesting and the overall track is very surfable.

Hot Surf Sunday dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hot Surf Sunday" has a decidedly open road feel to it, with an adventurous melody line and double picked liquidity. The "oo-ah" choruses add the feel of sixties singles. Great drums, solid bass, and a jangly rhythm guitar.

Surfer Joe dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

The other signature tune the original band struck gold with is pretty well replicated. All five verses are included on this credible track. Vocals are not normally reviewed on Reverb Central, but then this IS one of the genre's most important songs.

Magic Sands dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The jangle of the rhythm seems to work well on this lazy sunshine day tune. The melody is warm and playful in that search for surf adventure way. Very nice track.

Thrasher dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not particularly thrashy or evocative of a thrasher, yet adventurous and unusual. "Thrasher" bounces with the kind of enthusiasm "Church Key" portrayed, but without the frat party feel. Excellent.

Night Drive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped reverb rhythm softly dribbles out a delicate melody line, separated by big whammy chords. Not as chunky or melodic as Lee Hazelwood's "Movin'," but with a similar kind of feel. The string swipes in the last verse are very cool! Quite nice.