Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Surf Report - The Bikini Island Experimentdotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD-R brings Surf Report's first cassette release back to life. The Bikini Island Experiment has some really strong licks a la Dick Dale. All 7 tracks are originals, and it makes for excellent listening. This band had a really solid trad sound at this early point. This remains my favorite release by them.
Picks: Landslide, Naugahyde, Las Olas, Yummy!, Hot Pockets, Crazy Train, Flamethrower

Track by Track Review


Landslide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the initial popped string, this cool riff monster drips harsh curl. Excellent tone and driven energy. The break is much more fluid than the body of the song, at least until the Dick Dale style jammin' kicks in. This is a solid surf statement.

Naugahyde dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Naugahyde" is just a perfect surf tune. It speaks of open coastal road drives along cliffs overlooking the Pacific. The riffs and embellishments are just plain wonderful. While it is not exactly whistle-able, it really sticks in the memory banks. It's infectious and powerful. Even the false start is perfectly enjoyable. For my money, this is Surf Report's best track ever.

Las Olas dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with a Dick Dale note exercise, this quickly drops into a very fluid Spanish piece that invokes crystalline images of warm equatorial waters and long slow rides on small perfectly formed waves. You can smell the jungle fragrances in the off shore breeze and feel the sun on your back. The two guitar parts are very complimentary. An excellent track indeed. This is not the Eddie & the Showmen tune.

Yummy! dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big buzzy chunk, an unusual edge between the guitars and bass sounds, and a sense of fast moving wave riders on short boards. The dissonant tonality creates a tension that makes you nervous.

Hot Pockets dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy grinding surf, shore pound danger, and some welcomed gentile changes in the break all seem to point to power glides and cut backs. Not very melodic, but it certainly works.

Crazy Train dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a fairly trad sound, "Crazy Train" makes nice with picturesque images, plenty of touristy surfisms, and a real warmth, an almost carefree ambiance. This is a very pleasant journey on coastal rails. "Crazy Train" is originally an Ozzy Osbourne song. Rick says "..it is probably the sole reason that this band started - when we played it at our very first gig in 1994 (a house party), the crowd went nuts, so we thought we'd hold onto the song - and the style. Whenever we play it, we always get people coming up telling us that it was really cool, and if they didn't already know the tune, they never would guess that it's an Ozzy cover."

Flamethrower dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A punkie, powerhouse beat and a driving guitar tone make for a pretty surfy wall of angry water. While much more jammin' than melodic, this works really well and captures a certain choppy break feel. Solid track.