Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Lords - Makin' Wavesdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Surf Lords' tracks on this album are often very dark and foreboding, not unlike the effect that Chum or the Concaves achieve, or maybe the Surf Kings, and occasionally like Blue Cheer on the curl. At other times, there's beauty and delicacy lurking in the songs, not unlike the Sandals. An odd mix (guitar right, bass left, drums spread across the middle) reduces some of the intensity of the guitar, yet the music is often hauntingly dominant, moody, and attractive.

There is one vocal here, the slow and discouraging "Nobody Here Gets Hurt."
Picks: Zombie, Spaghetti Western, Kick Out, Dark Eyes, Persian Surfin', War Path, End Of The Summer, Drop Out, Midnight Wave, Undertow

Track by Track Review


Zombie dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Long gnarly distortion and sustain stretch into feedback to open "Zombie." A scary song with a moody melody line and big whammy chords between verses. The determination of the song is quite something. It rides in contrast to the flow. Quite interesting.

Spaghetti Western dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Some double pick delicate lines, some long chords, some picturesque open spaces... "Spaghetti Western" has it all. Moderately paced, dramatic, understated, and very cool!

Kick Out dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mid tempo song supported on liquid chords. The rhythm section is well suited to the drama of the lead lines, with ebb and flow between nervous circular runs and haunting sadness.

This is not a cover of the Safaris' "Kick Out."

Dark Eyes dotdotdot
Guitar Solo (Instrumental)

This soft guitar solo gently portrays liquid pools and starry nights. Lost in the romance of "Dark Eyes," the guitar flows slowly from line to line and chord to chord. In some ways, the structure of the melody is a little like the songs of the Concaves.

This is not the classic European melody.

Persian Surfin' dotdotdotdotdot
Bedouin Surf (Instrumental)

The melody structure is Middle Eastern, the percussion and bass are rock and roll. Distortion driven and intensity powered, "Persian Surfin'" is an interesting excursion into a seldom charted area of surf. Some double picked lines, some Link Wray-ish chords, and some feedback. Cool track!

War Path dotdotdotdot
Indian Surf (Instrumental)

This is not as Indian as you might expect, at least not in the usual rock instro sense. The melody does have a sense of tribal tension, and the rhythm is relentlessly earthy. More abut the rhythm than a melody really, "War Path" sneaks up on you.

This is not the Davie Allan song.

End Of The Summer dotdotdotdot
Soundtrack Surf (Instrumental)

"End Of The Summer" is a slow and gentle song, with hints of the Sandals' "Endless Summer" peeking out from under the chords and progression. Aurally, it's nothing like that, yet the suggestion is there. This is a very pretty and compelling song.

Drop Out dotdotdotdotdot
Dangerous Lumbering Surf (Instrumental)

Moody bass and drums a la the Concaves, dark double picked guitar lumbering like Chum, and lots of ominous danger. "Drop Out" is a very powerful and almost morose song, like Blue Cheer doing surf. very cool!

Midnight Wave dotdotdotdot
Sad Surf (Instrumental)

"Midnight Wave" is a softer song with great shallow whammy chords and a picturesque surfability. Slow and sinewy, with a bit of sadness. Excellent!

Undertow dotdotdotdot
Threatening Surf (Instrumental)

Danger lurks in the long sustain and feedback howl. An ominous riff over a solid rhythm section brings forth threatening chords. This is a simple progression kind of song, yet it's quite effective and powerful.