Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Piranhas - Both Sides Of The Surfdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThee most amazing and earliest of the Surfabilly bands, and they were American students in Paris. Drew Weaver had a knack for blending swamp rock, rockabilly, surf, and ska into new and marvelous forms. Long before Snake-Out and the Meteors, before Southern Culture on the Skids was even a wink and a nod, Drew Weaver was laying the foundation for that whole sound. This album was recorded in 1984. It is extremely rare, and on vinyl only. The master tapes are gone, not missing, just decayed beyond usability. I'd like to find a label interested in making a CD from virgin vinyl of all of Drew's surf and dive and sleazoid music.

Beginning life as the El Caminos in San Diego, becoming the Surf Piranhas when Drew & Joe Petrovich went to school in Paris, drafted Tony Leventhal and Giles Frege. Later, they changes their name to Drew Weaver & the Vibrabeams and focused more on the swamp and less on the surf (their version of "Rubber Room" - (Porter Wagoner) is unthinkable, and . Now Drew is headmaster of Drew Weaver & the Alvarados, and has a new CD out called Unfaithful Kind, reviewed in The Arkansas Biker as ... it's not all wimpy like - we like it.... The El Caminos issued an album after Drew left that was used for the soundtrack to Divers Cove that included such gems as "Pissed Off Bikers From Hell" and "Skin Diver."
Picks: Do The El Camino, Basement Hop, Daytona-Montarbo, Lonely Fisherman, Costa Mesa, Rancho Verde, Sunset Beach, Rockin' Dive Party, Attleboro Surf

Track by Track Review

Do The El Camino dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Rockabilly dance step coolness, and a tune the El Caminos also did.

Basement Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

That rockabilly boogie back beat and a fast teen party tune. You remember, partying in the basement or attic or crawl space, with the record player blasting away... sure you do.

Daytona-Montarbo dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This tune pumps right along, and is worth whatever you have to pay for it. A cowboy back beat under a grand surf lead, like the Cadillac Angels on a good surf day with more twangin' 'verb. Totally killer!

Lonely Fisherman dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Speedy little number about a Mexican fisherman, his surf guitar, and a rockabilly band...

Costa Mesa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual instro has a lead that is both captivating and wanting - wanting a second lead to counterpoint, or a vocal line. It both satisfies, and leaves you hanging.

Rancho Verde dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Drew's signature semi-narrative style is put to the test with this comparison of El Monte (the good) and Rancho Verde (the bad), much like the way Rush Limbaugh used to slam Rio Linda. Apparently, El Monte is a better party town. Great surf leads and surfabilly rhythms.

Sunset Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is simply the most infectious ska influenced version of the Sentinals classic you'll ever find. If I had ten starts, it would get twelve! Yee-Haw!

Rockin' Dive Party dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Now, I know this is a vocal, but this song, coupled with "Skin Diver" define scuba rock. Totally fun, bitchin' to the max! This album version is more subdued than the version on the Fireball compilation, but it still rules. Another song leftover from the San Diego days of the El Caminos. These lyrics tell all about Drew's el twisto intellecto:

When I'm down there under the mighty sea
with my friends, yes my family
I get a feeling that never can happen
up here on dry land (that's where the losers are)

Attleboro Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another completely infectious number from this most inventive and curious band. The glissandoes that open the track crash down, then reverse to rise, then down and back up again... really cool! A great infectious surf track that is so melodic it nearly speaks to you, as if the guitar were actually singing lyrics! Amazing track!