Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfin' Gorillas - The New Adventures Of...dotdotdot
artworkWith demented marvels like "The Surfin' Gorilla" and "Bahia Del Diablo," as well as the splendid cover of "Drums A Go-Go," this band has begun to stretch out. I had only previously heard their "Surfin' Gorilla" on the "Fury Mental" compilation, so I was anticipating a solid release. I wasn't disappointed, though the demo sound could have been better. All this instro-maniacal work is augmented with garage vocals like the Sonics' "Strychnine," the Cramps' "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns," and the classic "Justine."
Picks: Penetration, Bahia Del Diablo, The Water Gate, Zero-Nine, Drums A Go-Go, Ramcharger, Movin', Summertime Surf, Pintail Phantom, The Surfin' Gorilla

Track by Track Review

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfin' Gorillas do a pretty straight version of the Pyramids' "Penetration" with a minor change in the melody line that leaves it in a sorta strange place. The basic tonality is garage trad.

Bahia Del Diablo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With marinara sauce dripping off their collective chin, the Surfin' Gorillas intro "Bahia Del Diablo" with a whistling wild west theme. But wait, that's where the parmesan ends and the sax and surf begins. The sax is rugged and direct. The surf guitar is way too low in the mix, but solidly played. nasty and cool.

The Water Gate dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Nixon says "I would have preferred to carry through to the finish" from his resignation speech to introduce this track. The hi hat is way too intrusive, but otherwise, but otherwise this is a tasty surf track, with a very trad surf riff and ample energy and thunder, especially in the break where the tom tom's rule. Towards the end, King Richard says "I have never been a quitter." Nice track.

Zero-Nine dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Borrowing the rhythm track from the Chantays' "Beyond," "Zero-Nine" is a nasty sax number with genuine surf feel and a mean storm surf edge. The organ used in the break is not out of place as so many organs inserted into modern small combo surf are. A tasty track.

Drums A Go-Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty decent cover of Paul Buff's classic Hollywood Persuaders song. Even the organ lead is retained. The tribal drums are similar to the original. The George of the Jungle bass line is retained as well, but the guitar is more reverbed.

Ramcharger dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sampled dragstrip announcements slightly masked by engines revving, and then a surf riff number that is on the menacing side. It' has the spirit of surf and the thunder of the waves as they were morphed into the hot rod genre in the mid sixties.

Movin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Movin'" is incorrectly credited to Gary Usher. It is a Lee Hazelwood tune. This version is a little fast, and the lead guitar is somewhat low in the mix, with the constant symbol being overbearing. The performance is solid and it is always good to hear this classic tune.

Summertime Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid raging surf, power driven and pummelicious. The guitar pushes hard under the snarling sax melody line. A big Dick Dale intro, solid surf attack, and miscredit to Rodney and the Blazers. The arrangement may be inspired by them, but it is Gershwin's tune after all.

Pintail Phantom dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big surf guitar riffology, some splendid playing, solid full bodied energy, and relentless thunder. "Pintail Phantom" is infectious, mean, and holds up well. A fine tune, with a garagie edge. The almost mariachi horns in the middle are very cool too.

The Surfin' Gorilla dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hot Dick Dale-ish guitar and lots of glissandoes, plus a trumpet way in the back. Very cool. The gentle break adds deluxity to an already great track.