Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Raiders - Surfin' Feverdotdotdot
artworkSurfin' Fever is a best of compilation from surf historian Bob Dalley's band of surfnaughts. All recorded during the first surf revival of the 80's, this is solid slab of reverb tunes. Very traditional sound, some studio and some live, many original, the rest obscuro covers. Many of the tracks were recorded in a primitive studio, so the sound varies from good to demo, but the honesty of the surf within is well worth the listening. Included in the set is one of their two vocals, a garagie cover of the Astronauts' "Kuk."
Picks: The Curl Rider, Surf Raider, Rampage, Swami's Reef, Crash, Golash, Squad Car, Unknown, Point Conception, Gum Dipped Slicks, Scratch, Point Conception '63, Goofy Foot, Surfin' Elephant, High Wall, Steel Pier, Wave Walk'n', Long Ride, K-39, Suicide Point, Bangalore, Sunset At Makaha, Long Boards At San Onofre, Let There Be Surf, Tsunami

Track by Track Review


The Curl Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This classic revival track is a fine, melodic, rhythmic pure surf tune with plenty of power and oodles of surfisms. The excellent writing alone makes this a really important track to the reemergence of surf instros.

Surf Raider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is notable as much for the incorrectly set compressor breathing as the tune. The effect adds to the charm. The tune itself is infectious enough, and is among the better Surf Raiders tracks. It is melodic, very trad, and dynamic.

Rampage dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rick and the Ravens' obscuro is delivered with the innocence of the original, but with more reverb. It's a melodic and infectious tune... a good pick to cover. The thickness of the reverb is excellent, and the sax is cool too. The band even included the hand claps.

Swami's Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Middle eastern flutes and sounds hinting of the pyramids, before the fine surf melody comes forth. The bass is overpowering in the mix.

Crash dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Creations' "Crash" is covered here with great reverence. Pure trad surf stylings. "Crash" is a very infectious tune, and the band does well with it, fitting it nicely into their sound. Melodic, energetic, and well played.

Golash dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Intrepids' "Golash" is covered with power and flair, which are somewhat sapped by the breathing compressor, which is both interesting and detracting. Solid delivery, bass too loud at times, and the dynamics are totally smashed.

Squad Car dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's tune made famous by Eddie & the Showmen is made more reverby by the Surf Raiders. Infectious sax reed sirens, and mucho pound. Horrid drums and muddy sound sap the life out of it.

Unknown dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The VyDells' "Unknown" is updated, a little less crunchy, and a little smoother. Solid cover, though the opening glissando is a little tentative, and the drums sound like cardboard.

Point Conception dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Point Conception" is an original. This is one of two versions the Surf Raiders recorded in the studio. This is more demo like, and not as interesting as "Point Conception '63." The compressor breathes mercilessly, detracting from the power. Otherwise, it might be as good as the other version.

Gum Dipped Slicks dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris cut this as a single back in '63 or so. Here, the feel is retained, while the drums are ambient and thin. The melody is so cool on this song. Nice performance.

Scratch dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another Eddie and the Showmen tune, this cover is spirited and fun pure trad. Crude boom box recording.

Point Conception '63 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an exceptionally good track. Better than nearly all other Surf Raider songs (IMHO), this employs a moderate pace and great dribbling glissandoes. It is melodic and very surfy. The enduring power of the track testifies to it's strength. I've been drawn to it since first hearing it in the early eighties.

Goofy Foot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Lively Ones' "Goofy Foot" aka "Surf Battle" is less powerful than the original, less precise and intense, but still worth a spin. The drums are totally weak sounding.

Surfin' Elephant dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Craig Cahill and the Offbeats was recorded live. It's quite a good performance of an excellent obscuro. The awful sound hides a fine band doing a fine song.

High Wall dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Wailers' did this originally. It's a song about a prison break, not a wall of water. Some compressor breathing, but better than some other tracks here. This tune is really slow and evil, and the surf rendering retains this. The lead is way too low in the mix.

Steel Pier dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Impacts' "Steel Pier" is reverbed out, and played with fire and thunder. The drums are dull, but the tracks works ok.

Wave Walk'n' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Smooth trad surf, with organ added. This is a melodic and warm track, with the kind of draw that brings you back for more.

Long Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Johnny Barakat & the Vestells' "Long Ride" is delivered very true to the original, except for the sound quality. An excellent cover, well played and really surfy.

K-39 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A competent cover of the Challengers' best tune, well paced and very fun. It is not as powerful, but retains the energy. The lead guitar is subdued in the mix.

Suicide Point dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Suicide Point" is a fairly early track, sullen and moody, but not among their best. Bob Dalley and Loyd Davis have always had a knack for writing trad surf melodies, and this serves them well. It's infectious and thumping good fun.

Bangalore dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Blazers' "Bangalore" is played well, but the recording hides the power and intensity required for this track to deliver all of it's punch. The cardboard drums are a big part of the problem, as well as the dull lead guitar tone. This is such a fine tune, it's too bad it's not better documented, given the obvious punch in the performance.

Sunset At Makaha dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like you might guess from the title, this is a slow romantic piece, fluid and pretty, more atmospheric and sad than melodic, but quite pleasing. It's a Bob Dalley - Loyd Davis composition.

Long Boards At San Onofre dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of surfdom's most memorable quiet lagoon songs. I've played this a million times on Surf's Up! This original is precisely what the doctor ordered. Very cool.

Let There Be Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a hot performance of the Chevells' great obscuro. It's very hot and fun, full of power. The energy is masked somewhat by the compression breathing and muddy sound.

Tsunami dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with a dragged out cry of "Tsunami," this is an exercise in excellent surfisms and bad production. Big whammy chords, excellent reverberation, and uneven sound.