Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Coasters - L'espritdotdotdotdot
artworkL'esprit covers quite a bit of territory, with some of the Surf Coasters classic power surf, some amazing power lounge, some acoustic, and more. Quite an album!
Picks: Oracle, Twister, Magic River, Light My Fire, Blast, Sleeping Princess, Lily-Anne, aube de Vietnam, Shoutin' Bird, GO!, Hurry Up The Wait, Quarter, Star Rider, Jetty, The Riddle, Miracle, Legend Of Surf

Track by Track Review


Oracle dotdotdot
Interlude (Instrumental)

Soft almost harpsichord swirl from the keys... an introductory piece.

Twister dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Twister" is a thrashy hard driving instro with manic pumpin' distortion, punk assault, and compressed guitar.

Magic River dotdotdotdot
Tribal Carnival (Instrumental)

Slow tom toms undulate under a Bo Diddley rhythm as the organ leads the parade. Kinda like a carnival inversion of tribal rock. haunting and powerful, subtle and silky, grindy and intense. Not surf, but very cool.

Light My Fire dotdotdot
Psychedelic Pop Swirl (Vocal)

An eerie insane sound and a pumpin' organ launch into a manic drugged out version of "Light My Fire" with Ryoichi Endo singing lead in front of the Surf Coasters. It's entirely cool, though not even slightly related to surf. This is the album version, somewhat different from the single.

Blast dotdotdotdot
Storm Surf (Instrumental)

Gutty fast intense and grinding, "Blast" is a well titled powerhouse of double picked wicked surf and slam, where the ugly side of the waves overpower the riders on the storm. Intense!

Sleeping Princess dotdotdot
Acoustic (Instrumental)

Shigeo Naka's solo acoustic guitar floats an image of flower dreams across a summer afternoon. The softness of the recording is very complimentary to the melody.

Lily-Anne dotdotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

"Lily-Anne" is a brief organ introduction to "aube de Vietnam."

aube de Vietnam dotdotdotdot
Asylum Organ (Instrumental)

The asylum organ creates a soft impression of imbalance. As the bass and surf guitar come in, it moves into a smoother sadder sound. It's like a more soulful variation on the idea posed in Country Joe and the Fish's disturbed "Section 43." The melancholy organ pours out its tears.

Shoutin' Bird dotdotdot
Tortured (Instrumental)

Bass thrash and screams of gore and torment... mighty short.

GO! dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

"GO!" is a poundy punk thrash thumper. The riff is fairly repetitious and the dark grind menacing. The midsection is more melodic and thrashy in a shreddin' surf kinda way.

Hurry Up The Wait dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast surf shred, compressed and double pick over raging bass and drums. "Hurry Up The Wait" is a damn fast powerhouse. Wears you out with relentless power and energy. No longboards allowed!

Quarter dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tweaky sounds briefly separate "Hurry Up The Wait" and "Star Rider."

Star Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a grumpy fast bass line from "Break On Through" and a whirling organ, "Star Rider" drives for the outer banks of the galaxy where the surf is cold and the gravity waves are perfect barrels. Miles from trad, but pretty infectious and powerful.

Jetty dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra strange grumpy bass and shouts of inverted joy.

The Riddle dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big twang and eerie keys, walking fifties cool-bass, and a Henry Mancini-ish guitar line. Think of "The Riddle" as an aggressive fuzz lounge, suave, fluid, quirky, and edgy. Quite a fun track.

Miracle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Little sounds and interlude space makers...

Legend Of Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Legend Of Surf" is a medley of surf classics.

Yuzo Kayama and the Launchers' ultra cool "Black Sand Beach" comes first, all pumped up in the Surf Coasters' classic power sound. Very cool.

"Pipeline" comes next, with just as much power. Those glassy tubes the Chantays envisioned are overcome by monster barrels of destruction.

Mike Gordon's tweaky "Out Of Limits" (Marketts) finds guts and thunder under the assault of Shigeo Naka's band.

The Astronauts' "Surf Party" is a spunky vehicle for the Surf Coasters, with lots of fire. The lead melody is carried by the keys, while the gut-punching double picked likes come from guitar.

All four songs are full length, with "Legend Of Surf" clocking in at 8:37.