Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Coasters - Samurai Struckdotdotdotdotdot
artworkHow can it be? How is it possible for a band to keep getting better when they are already at the top of the game? Powerful performances that rocks hard, yet displays the immaculate playing of Shigeo Naka. His rhythm section is perfect for his style, providing a rock solid foundation. Remarkable!

This is the US version of the release, their first. the Japanese version is due out soon. The difference is the live tracks, which will be from KFJC, while the live tracks here are from a recent concert in Japan.
Picks: Samurai Struck, Dreams, Bumble Bee, Nineteen, Soyakaze, Wataridori, Stamp Stomp, Midnight Headlight, Summertime Blues, Shark Man, Misirlou, Big Thunder, Bikemen!, Linda, Adventures In Paradox, Chasing Shadows, Intruder

Track by Track Review


Samurai Struck dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a great instro, full of surf chunk and flying glissandos, and so much in the Surf Coasters' signature style. The melody riff is memorable and the performance quite hot. Fire, ice, and abundant power.

Dreams dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This new recording of "Dreams" furthers the tale of my all time favorite Surf Coasters instro. Less dynamic, more fluid, and very appealing. The bass is extra dirty where it carries the melody line in the break. Superb!

Bumble Bee dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are not enough stars. Now, I know this has been done many times by rock and surf bands, but none, as in NO-ONE, has ever really played it. Shigeo Naka plays every note, and the result is a stunning and much more interesting interpretation. The lead lines circle like the black and yellow bumble bee that guards my lemon tree in the summer. The break is an equally stunning swirl of psychedelic reverb and fluid mind excursions. The drums and bass in this track are perfect as well! I imagine that if Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov played in a surf band, he would have done "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" just like this. Simply superb!

Nineteen dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with feedback howls, "Nineteen" begins to grumble like Link Wray is in the house, drops into intense whammified distortion, then back to a tribal and huge long sustain chord assault. This is amazing!

Soyakaze dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lush and romantic, with a very pretty melody and spatial feeling. This classic melody floats softly in liquid Jell-O like the Shadows only wish they could sound.

Wataridori dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Wataridori" is adventurous in a European instro kind of way, with echoed guitar and a slight gypsy feeling. Very pretty and lush, as well as compelling!

Stamp Stomp dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy, dirty, pounding, surf jammin'... "Stamp Stomp" is structured in a basic surf instro way, but with a catchy melody line, fiery glissandoes, splendid guitar, great drums, and grumbling bass holding it all together. Big and wonderful.

Midnight Headlight dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Midnight Headlight" is a very pretty and fluid song with a lushness that rides between the strong tone and silky bass, and those drums! Liquid reverb, glissandoes, surf rhythms, whammy chords, string swipes... what more do you need?

Summertime Blues dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Way fun hand claps create a party rhythm for this fine rearrangement of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues." Loaded with energy and smiles, and simple fun.

Shark Man dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shark Man" sports a great beat and powerful drums. It's more like an Eddie Angel garage rocker than surf, but the pure flash and power and surf chunk rhythm drive it home. The break features circulating electro swirls and echoed cries. Very flashy!

Misirlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale may have made "Misirlou" the signature song of surf, but anyone who has ever seen the Surf Coasters play it realize that they and Slacktone now own it. Over the top drums and pummeling bass, and guitar dripping with fire and flair!

Big Thunder dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Power glissando opening, a cry of "big thunder," and then a big crunch surf riff powers a thundering surf tune with excellent drums and major rumble. Some high end saturation on the lead guitar adds edge to the track. Fast, powerful, and too much fun.

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.

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!

Adventures In Paradox dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Adventures In Paradox" is a liquidy song with a sad melody. Spooky in a misty kind of way. Lush, beautiful, and full of easy energy. The melody line is a silky slither of reverb, with emotional drums, moody bass and a soothing ambiance.

Chasing Shadows dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine live performance of one of the Surf Coasters cooler tracks, with plenty of energy for a mid tempo song. Very compelling and memorable.

Intruder dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Intruder" is very much a signature song for the Surf Coasters. There are no versions that don't rate top honors. Powerful, and very well played! A great track!