Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Piranhas - Both Sides Of The Surf - Stereo Remastereddotdotdotdot
artworkMostly an illusive echo in the early days of the surf revival, The Surf Piranhas were about as vibrant and infectious as they come. These tracks all date from 1983. Born in Southern California, but resident in Paris during this period when they were in school. I love this band - maybe a bit prejudiced, and I can't recommend them enough! At the tie, they were the only surfband in Europe, and in America, there were precious few - Jon and the Nightriders, The Surf Raiders, The Insect Surfers, The Halibuts, The Evasions, The Wedge, Cowabunga, The Shockwaves, Agent Orange, plus a couple of others.

Comprised of their 1983 album mixed in stereo as only the cassette version was back then, with added studio and live material. They were among the first bands to create the surfabilly sound, and part of a long line of surf-oriented projects.

This is essential listening. Once hooked, also search out their tracks on the Fireball comp, plus the albums from before and after bands The El Caminos and The Vibrabeams. These guys were amazing!
Picks: Do The El Camino, Basement Bop, Daytona-Montarbo, Costa Mesa, Sunset Beach, Rockin' Dive Party, Attleboro Surf, Boss Piranha, Undertow, Mystic Rites, Destroy All Rancheros, Baja Beat, Nautilus, Bombora, Wipe Out - Cry, Cry, Cry

Track by Track Review


Do The El Camino dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Rockabilly dance step coolness, and a tune the El Caminos also did. This vocal is all goofy fun.

Basement Bop dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

"Basement Bop" is a pumping rockabilly based number with no shortage of exuberance and reverb splash. Entirely cool.

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 glissandos 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!

Boss Piranha dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Hi energy stompin' good fun with more lyrics about the happenings in their basement and all the things "we got." It's very hard not to love this! High energy, great rockabilly energy and surf splash.

Undertow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Doom in the shore break, ripped out to sea with no way back. Exciting energy, great drums,a and that classic The Surf Piranhas rockabilly drum beat! Very cool!

Mystic Rites dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

"Mystic Rites" was also done by Drew Weaver and the Vibrabeams. It's a narrative, b-movie trailer filler. It may not be a song, but it's very fun and very fifties drive-in.

Destroy All Rancheros dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This is an excellent live performance from The Surf Piranhas. Great booming energy, glissandos, and sporting the disturbed lyrics that only Drew Weaver can write. Great fun!

Baja Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Self-described as "Mexibilly," "Baja Beat" later appeared on a Vibrabeams album. These guys were a hell of a band! Very spunky!

Nautilus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Slowing it down, but not lessening the dementia, "Nautilus" oozes lush surf whammy and chords, country island imagery, and one fine melody line. Mostly instrumental, with just a couple of vocal verses that are more narrative than song. Saucy and suave in a disturbed reality.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a ripping rendering of The Original Surfaris' "Bombora." great energy, fine surf guitar, thundering energy. Superb!

Wipe Out - Cry, Cry, Cry dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

The Surfaris' essential "Wipe Out" is rocked hard. Great drums really make this work. Very strong energy delivered with abandon. Wow! "Wipe Out" is followed by the classic "Cry, Cry, Cry." Hot energy and rockabilly spirit, with surf guitar and just a bit of dementia.