Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Coasters - Samurai Struckdotdotdotdotdot
artworkPowerful performances that rocks hard, yet displays the immaculate playing of Shigeo Naka and his impeccable rhythm section. An utterly remarkable CD!

This is the Japanese version of the release, with difference is the live tracks from the US release, recorded in KFJC's Pit.
Picks: Samurai Struck, Dreams, Bumble Bee, Nineteen, Soyakaze, Wataridori, Stamp Stomp, Midnight Headlight, Summertime Blues, Tsunami Struck, The Crash, Shark Man, Surf Express, Baja, Rumble, Jack The Ripper, Miserlou, Fly Up

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.

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!"

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!

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!

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!

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!!!

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?