Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Surf Me Up, Scotty - Surf Now, Apocalypse Laterdotdotdotdot
artworkMany tracks open with PBS travelog style introductions or samples from B-movies. The music is rendered dark and forbidding by evil atmospheric production and sometimes hypnotic songs. Among the most endearing tracks are two covers, "The Victor" and "Backseat Ballad."
Picks: South Of The Border, Surfing With Sharks, Moonshine Runner, Cecilia Ann, Downhill Madness, The Victor, Horror On Party Beach, Backseat Ballad, Bombora, Desperado On The Beach, Shrunken Head Stomp, O.C. Life

Track by Track Review

South Of The Border dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lush vibrato shimmered track with weird oscillating organ carrying the lead. While it's wholly strange, and even stranger via Theremin, "South Of The Border" odes not capture my interest. Then again, once they get beyond the sludgy part, it gets to be pretty chunky and cool. I think it's the organ's dominance in the first two thirds that grates on my ears.

Surfing With Sharks dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thundering tom toms and dark guitars and keys wail an uncomfortable whirl, like the Wailers' "Mashi" darkened and made evil. More of a progression than a melody, yet "Surfing With Sharks" holds quite a bit of power.

Moonshine Runner dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big surf twang chords, a dark whirling organ melody line, and a hazardous carnival atmosphere. "Moonshine Runner" is an odd combination of swirl and chunk. The throb of the vibrato guitar break is pretty interesting.

Cecilia Ann dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In an original arrangement of the Surftones' "Cecilia Ann," perhaps inspired more by the Pixies, Surf Me Up, Scotty recreate the song with an unnerving, almost demented swirl of sound and thunder. Creative and dark.

Downhill Madness dotdotdot
Frat Surf (Instrumental)

"Downhill Madness" is an interesting instro with vibrato throb and "Mashi"-inspired organ swirls. The female narration lines add nothing to the song from a surf perspective, but with so much frat rock influence, it, along with the sampled intro and outro, work OK. An ultra murky recording awash in reverb and indiscreet sound.

The Victor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stereo damped reverb guitar and liquid splash bring out the mysterious Middle Eastern charm of Dick Dale's "The Victor." This song was considered by Randy Holden to be the ultimate surf instro, and was the inspiration for "Mar Gaya." Surf Me Up, Scotty present a reverent performance in some ways, but also create a fluid and dark surf tragedy epic via the production. Quite a powerful track!

Horror On Party Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil vibrato runs beneath trailer audio for the Troma classic Surf Nazis Must Die. "Horror On Party Beach" is a dark epic of very dangerous tribal tom tom thunder and horror keys. Surfisms abound, and so does the heavy sadism of the Surf Nazis.

Backseat Ballad dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rosie and the Originals' amazingly durable "Angel Baby" is transmuted into a dark surf ballad - a kind of evil prom dance number. "Backseat Ballad" is both pretty and dark at the same time. Very cool!

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Larry Weed's most familiar powerhouse instro "Bombora" is darkened in thundering murk. Powerful and moody, and featuring excellent "piano" lines in some verses. This is a wholly original arrangement via the dark ambiance of the production.

Desperado On The Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's a dark surf mood set by "DespeRadO On The Beach." Anti Vietnam war narration in places makes it more ominous in a retro political sort of way. It's a very repetitious piece.

Shrunken Head Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An extract from a zombie flick precedes this haunted song. Once into the double picked surf rage, it moves from merely dark to ominous and forbidding. "Shrunken Head Stomp" is a huge wash of reverb and danger.

O.C. Life dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This "bonus" track is much less atmospheric than the rest of the tracks here. It's more rhythmic and thick as well. An interesting way to end the CD.