Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Coasters - USA Tour 2004dotdotdotdotdot
artworkApril 17th, 2004, the Surf Coasters joined KFJC for a Pitstop of intense hard-rockin' surf. This was their first time outside Japan, coaxed to the US by Ferenc Dobronyi of Pollo Del Mar, The Mach IV, and Meshugga Beach Party. They played Fresno, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose and KFJC. This is a document of their amazing blazing performance in the pit.
Picks: Tsunami Struck, Bikemen!, The Crash, Shark Man, Surf Express, Linda, Rumble, Jack The Ripper, Baja, Dreams, Black Sand Beach, Bumble Bee, Miserlou, Riding High, Typhoon Swell, Beach Monster, Fly Up, Intruder, Summertime Blues

Track by Track Review


Tsunami Struck dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Coasters launch their set with a rippin' rendering of the shredding punkoidal "Tsunami Struck", a fast and furious instro influenced by "Point Panic." Extreme energy and shouts of "Wah!"

Bikemen! dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bikemen!" thunders through a basic progression with power and intense drive. This is perhaps a little less aggro than the Tower CD version, and surely much cleaner, but there's no shortage of ripping. Great chunky, aggressive, playful plunder.

The Crash dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Crash" is a very Dick Dale-ish modern thrasher with a monster attack and powerful sound. It's a new song, bound up in raging guitar and bass and pounding drums.

Shark Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shark Man" is another new song with a great beat and powerful drums. Shigeo flies around the guitar like there's no tomorrow. It's more like an Eddie Angel garage rocker, yet very surfy. Pure flash and power.

Surf Express dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Express" rips right from the first chord bash, and relentlessly powers and drives. A classic Surf Coasters rage, very aggressive, tom tom laden, guitar fired, bass grumbled... Yikes!

Linda dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums undulate beneath a sultry twango masterpiece. It has the liquid bounce of the cartoon squaw that used to glide through the intermission sequences at the drive in. Images of a fluid walk and bouncing chest on a lovely lass named "Linda." Way cool!

Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's signature menace is grandly powered and from the LP version, but with the edge and meanness of the single. Whammy, reverb, dribbling double picking, intense guitar chords, threatening bass, and great percussion! Magnificent!

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a power assault of Link Wray's best-ever song "Jack The Ripper." Relentless drums and thundering bass. The insane guitar slides and warbling distortion is huge and glorious. This is a total energy drain!

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This magnificent interpretation of Lee Hazelwood's "Baja" is right up there with the best. It is arranged essentially the same as the CD version, but bigger. The opening is like a shimmering intro to "Endless Summer," which is natural in the slow and sultry arrangement. It's like the Al Casey version, but so much more sultry. The tom toms create an exotic feel, the smooth bass floats atop a glassy lagoon, and the delicate lead is stunning, especially as it plays those big swimming chords. The compressed fuzz bass break drifts smoothly through the night. Stunning!

Dreams dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There just are not enough stars for this one. To begin with, "Dreams" is my all-time favorite Surf Coasters song, then it's a song they never actually played live until I requested it be the price of admission, and lastly, it's simply a great piece of music. Its infectious melody line and catchy rhythm demand a grin. The edge and beauty are unmistakable. I can only say "thank you Surf Coasters!"

Black Sand Beach dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's very cool to hear the Surf Coasters cover one of Japan's great guitar heroes of the sixties, Yuzo Kayama (and the Launchers). They surely ripped with more might than he did, yet retain his sense of charm and arranging. A spectacular performance of a great song!

Bumble Bee dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rousing version of the Ventures' interpretation of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumble Bee." Big fire and circular power! Totally unpretentious and full of zip.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

First, there are a million versions of "Miserlou." Second, only a handful really rip - Slacktone and Dick Dale come to mind. No one plays it with more fire than the Surf Coasters, and when Shigeo Naka plays the bridge alternating over and under the neck with extreme accuracy and effortless liquid fingering, it's an amazing site to see! All three members of the Surf Coasters pound their asses off on this one. Completely amazing!!!

Riding High dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Riding High" is a rousing riff rocker with a ton of energy and punkoidal spunk. Thoroughly remarkable - a simple rockin' riff can be driven to a frenzy with the right players, and these are the right players. Awesome!

Typhoon Swell dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Typhoon Swell" is a fun tune that some how drags you under it's spell, even when you don't want to go. On CD, it just didn't show off how cool it really is. A splendid rockin' intro with a catchy riff and big flair.

Beach Monster dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With wonderful grunts of "Beach Monster," this song instantly becomes a surf-chop monster. More than just intense and hair-raising, you can not resist its infectious power and charm. The false descent into quiet in the idle as the monster seems temporarily out of sight yields quickly to another power surge. The glissandoes rip! This was a real crowd pleaser with everyone raising their arms and wiggling their fingers right along with the band.

Fly Up dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Fly Up!!" is even bigger than on the Tower CD-3. In a live setting, it's a mighty powerful piece. You can feel the floor shake and the walls bleed. Can you spell p-o-w-e-r?

Intruder dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

At a hundred stars, this is still underrated! This is a spectacular and perfect performance of one of their most powerful and melodic surf rages. "Intruder" simply shreds! Not a better track will you ever hear! Unbelievable fire and perfect playing from all three musicians.

Summertime Blues dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Summertime Blues" was added to the set as an extra "oh please play one more track." A fine instrumental treatment of Eddie Cochran's signature song is loaded with energy and smiles. Pure fun!