Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Da Surfones - Surfones 95-98dotdotdot
artworkDa Surfones have remastered their career summary demo, with some new tracks, some remixes, and some sound cleanup. Some brilliant and grin-inducing arrangements, some wonderful writing, and some really good surf grace this CD-R. What I find interesting about this band is their simplicity, and the blend of surf and Spanish influences that they employ. Many of these tracks stick with you after you've put away the CD, which is the mark of a successful piece of work. Oh for a full studio CD. The band is primarily Xavi Surfone on guitar, Mario Surfone on guitar, and Ander Surfone on bass, plus guests on additional instruments depending on what the song needs.
Picks: Pateras en el Estrecho, Nomes Surf, El Pollo, Tempesta, Tendido 69, Idyle, Sleep Walk, Last Night, Mar Cruel, Walkin' With Mr Dee, Tema de James Bond, Stampede, You Can Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Joe 90, Platja Nudista, Surf Rider, El Darrer Bottom Turn, Ladelander Wave, Surf Atomic a Mururoa, Pipeline i Red Monkey, Tequila, Movirecord, Pasteras 95, MSF [Maniobres Surfers a la Foscor]

Track by Track Review

Pateras en el Estrecho dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yup, this is the theme from "Chariots Of Fire" all decked out with a new wave guitar, electric piano, and prancing sensibility. You can just see them grinning while they dash this out. Completely fun.

Nomes Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a cool and playful tune. The damped reverbed plucking and snare rim tap percussion keep this in the realm of a spring afternooner, with a breezy feel and floating surf tone. The slight breathing of the compressor on the reverb in the softer passages is interesting, giving it a sense of greenery gently swaying in the warm breeze.

El Pollo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grodie chicken boppin' garage instro with reverb and a thick thud. Where most of their other tracks are really fluid, this is much more basic rock 'n' roll.

Tempesta dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty tune, with strong lead guitar. It blends a few elements not often together, a soft almost MOR rhythm guitar, and dramatic inspired drums. The bass is solid and appropriate for the piece. The many changes keep it lively. Unusual and interesting.

Tendido 69 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures, Bobby Fuller, and many others did this tune so many years ago. It's fun, but not very different. Energetic and spunky.

Idyle dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chunky, percussive, progression based, frat rockin', waiting for a melody line.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The heavy use of reverb and bottleneck slides brings this close to a lap steel sound, and also gives it a haunted lead which rides over a crisp band track. A very nice and reverent cover of Santo & Johnny's classic.

Last Night dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Eskimo Surf" sports an infectious melody, a rock edge, and cool almost xylophone-like keyboards. Nice arrangements, and very unusual writing combine to create a fresh and appealing sound. Almost dinner surf, maybe supermarket surf, but not in the negative way you might think of from that, but quite pleasant and very accessible. Fine track.

Mar Cruel dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Ketts classic tune, back from the dead like a discordant vampire in search of an abandoned neck. The ska backbeat and electric piano lead lines are very cool. It's a highly unusual treatment of this over covered tune. New Wave thumpy, TVOD pointed, and gnat irritating in a good way.

Walkin' With Mr Dee dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Douglas' marvelous tune, best done by the studio band the Catalinas, is less intensely put forth here, energetic but not up to the challenge of the tune. The ringing piercing guitar tone is missing, but all the thunder and drums are there, and the power chords to. Solid.

Tema de James Bond dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Disjointed, thrashing garage instromaniac grind, stingingly interrupted as if from another time and place. Intense, thick, bashingly fun, and mosh-pit insane.

Stampede dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The middle eastern pop tune that Dick Dale made into a household word is delivered fluidly, a bit slower, and with an infectious arrangement that's not quite trad, but very close. Nice track.

You Can Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's classic well done, surfed out with damped reverb and extra whammy, makes for a solid and interesting interpretation.

Joe 90 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This raw recording shows of a frat party side of the band. It's a riff based number, with flutter in the cassette tape and really shallow sound, but it's obviously fun for the crowd, 'cuz they are yellin' and a-stumblin' in ecstasy.

Platja Nudista dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The studio version of "Nudist Beach" appears on their CD release, but is recorded live here. Heavily influenced by Robert Mitchum's "Beat Generation," this jams in a beatnik fifties style, with twangy guitar and rolling piano. I found this to be a very fun track.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick plundering fuzz-reverb guitar, lumbering bass lines, slow-to-fast pace changes, and a progression based melody line. It's dramatic, like Kraut rock surf circa 1973. If only Amon Duul II had recorded some surf tunes. A bit too disjointed for my taste.

El Darrer Bottom Turn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This mid seventies single is some kinda weird. The pure surf reverb on the second guitar and the rhythm section are as trad as they come. The lead guitar is wah-wah peddled all the way, with occasional damped reverb passages. It's quite time warped, and darn fun. Imagine this showing up in the stack single to review during the heyday of disco - no Donna Summer sound alike vocals, no syndrums, no regulated artificial bpm timekeeper. What were they thinking?

Ladelander Wave dotdotdot
Studio Rock (Instrumental)

Great drums, playful lightweight guitar into, and an almost movie theme melody line come together here for a solid track. Both the guitar work and the kit action are precise and nicely counter balanced.

Surf Atomic a Mururoa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Super Stocks album track rhythmically churned out, missing the Richie Podolor guitar tone, and relying more on bass thump, but still quite listenable.

Pipeline i Red Monkey dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chunky, grodie, fumigated rolling thunder, progressional, but infectious and energetic.

Tequila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This many spirited party performance of Chuck Rio's "Tequila" shows off their unbridled fun side. Many shouts and happy noises accompany this performance.

Movirecord dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sampled obscenities from Pulp Fiction overlay this chord progressional track with a grodie edge and back ally sound... The ending is abrupt and unnatural.

Pasteras 95 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very suave soft surf version of "Pateras en el Estrecho" with bongos or congas and almost acoustic guitar tone. It's entire too suave... gives the tune a whole new feel.

MSF [Maniobres Surfers a la Foscor] dotdotdot
Surf Sludge Mix (Instrumental)

This thick "mix" blends samples from a bunch of their tunes over programmed drum machine and a clear aim at the trance floor. Most unique.