Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Coasters - SURF is Deaddotdotdotdot
artworkThis was just released at the end of July 2000, and it may well be their best yet... incredible performances and intense energy. The production on this disc is very strong, retaining all the power and pumped percussion while being crystal clear. Track one "Surf Is Dead" is a soundscape of the sea and thunder, sea gulls and a femme fatale droning "surf is dead." Likewise, track seven "Love Is Dead" is a melange of sound and a chant of "love is dead," probably intended as a side-changer on a vinyl release. This is a must-have 100% shredder!
Picks: Hawaiian Delight, Surfing and Spying, Space Spade, Baja, Cyclone, TUSK, Crossfire, Funny Corn, Rumble, Jack The Ripper

Track by Track Review

Hawaiian Delight dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title might mislead you to expect Polynesian suave, but don't even go there. This is big thundering tom toms, grumbling bass, and incredible Dick Dale-esq guitar fire, double picked and slid up and down the neck with complete abandon. The chorded beauty of the break is in sharp contrast to the shred-ability of the main melody. This is a monster track.

Surfing and Spying dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Coasters power the Go-Go's' "Surfing And Spying" like no other band, stronger than the original, than the Go-Go's' live version, and miles above the Ventures' version. Huge guitar sound and a significantly faster pace, with fire in the bones.

Space Spade dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a Nocturnes "Third Star" intro, "Space Spade" launches into hyperspace with killer crunch and reverb. The drums are so tuff, hit with the kind of power and precision that Dusty Watson delivers. "Space Spade" personifies shred.

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This wonderful cover of Lee Hazelwood's "Baja" is right up there with the best. The opening is like a shimmering intro to "Endless Summer," which is such a natural here. The tom toms create an exotic feel, the smooth bass floats atop a glassy lagoon, the second vibrato guitar provides a kind of shimmer, and the delicate lead is stunning. The arrangement is on par with Jon and the Nightriders' "Apache." The compressed fuzz break drifts smoothly through the night. Amazing!

Cyclone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aggressive surf pound, progression riffs, hyper drive, and solid thump. "Cyclone" is not related to any of the other tunes with this name. Just solid chunk!

TUSK dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"TUSK" is much like "Cyclone" in it's structure and riff, but also seems inspired by Slacktone's "Tidal Wave," especially with the drum-guitar synched glissandoes. Speedy double picking and power pumped drums, and major energy.

Crossfire dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Growling low-E surf, awesome drive, and a relentless punked out surf beat and thunder rhythm section. "Crossfire" wears you out... so much drive! Mean and menacing, it drags you down the ally whether you want to go or not. The Theremin in the midsection is a nice touch.

Funny Corn dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This typical surfabilly riff number has a lot of power and speed, and edge too. It's reminiscent of Jon and the Nightriders' "(I Think I'm) Surfing Japanese" less the Oriental flair.

Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Coasters pay their respects to Link Wray with a grand cover of "Rumble." It's the LP version, with the percussive chords behind, and it's quite strong. Whammy, reverb, dribbling double picking, and great percussion.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In another tip of the hat to Link Wray, the Surf Coasters do a power pummel of "Jack The Ripper" with more flair than just about anyone except maybe the Insect Surfers. Relentless rolling tom toms and thundering bass... it's hard to beat. The insane guitar slides and warbling distortion is insane... and glorious. Whew!