Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Raiders - On The Beachdotdotdot
artworkThe third and final album from the Surf Raiders is a mixed bag of nice tracks and tame common covers, of gorgeous tunes like "Long Boards At San Onofre" and ho-hum tracks like "Church Key." This album includes the vocal track "Kuk," a cover of the Astronauts song. The Surf Raiders at this time are Bob Dalley - lead guitar, Linda Dalley - organ, Tom Montcrieff - rhythm guitar, Dave Rodriguez - drums, and Loyd Davis, bass, but the recording does not feature Tom Montcrieff. Instead, the rhythm guitar is Davie Allan, with his long time associate Rick Korenthal singing with him on "Kuk," and Brian Thompson on sax.
Picks: Baha-Ree-Bah, Penetration, Suicide Point, Ali Baba, Curl Rider 84, Mr. Moto, Bangalore, Mizerlou, Sunset At Makaha, Church Key, Long Boards At San Onofre

Track by Track Review

Baha-Ree-Bah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Trademarks' classic mariachi surf tune is played really well here, with plenty of infectious energy and retaining the warbling horns. The melody is infectious, as is the track. Excellent.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While this is a solid cover of the Ventures arrangement, there's nothing here to make it stand out.

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.

Ali Baba dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an excellent cover of Dave Zdunich's (Dave & the Customs) "Ali Baba." It's not as powerful, but the much more damped style gives it a more delicate feel which works well with the tune.

Curl Rider 84 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Curl Rider" is just about my favorite Bob Dalley composition. This update is a mixed blessing, with much better recording quality but lower energy. The melody is an excellent trad riff over great rolling drums like in Shoutless' "Downhill Run." Wonderful.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A competent cover of Paul Johnson first single with the Belairs. Good track, just not unusual or originally arranged, and when the tune has been covered as often as this has, that's the kiss of death.

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.

Mizerlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Raiders do a credible but low energy version of the flagship surf anthem. Competent, but nothing special.

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.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is spunky and all, but it just doesn't hold a candle to the original. The distortion guitar in the break is an interesting contrast to the rest of the Surf Raiders' material, but that alone doesn't carry it off.

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.