Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfside Four - Ballad Of The Tikidotdotdotdot
artworkSerious surf monsters lurk in the reverb of Ballad Of The Tiki. As strong a under as it is, I think it is held back by murky production. Songs like "Harem Scarem Surfem" make me really want to remix this album. Great laying and writing in approaching the tradition of The Woodies. Wear your seat belt!
Picks: Dark Eyes, Ballad Of The Tiki, Malaguena, Surfari, Harem Scarem Surfem, Undertow, The Wedge, Mutatis Mutandis

Track by Track Review

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Deep reverb splash abound in this version of Yevhen Hrebinka's "Chorni Ochi." Boy does this rock. The somewhat excessive track reverb tames the energy a bit, but The Surfside Four clock in with vibrant shouts and power. Yikes!

Man Of Mystery dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Man Of Mystery" is done as if it was born to surf. It has a deliberate pace, and the spatial reverb makes it sound expansive.

Ballad Of The Tiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow song lumbers with dredging soul like a dangerous female leaning against a street light. Big track reverb makes it sound dungeonous. I think the song and performance deserve crisper production. Some nice whammy notes and liquid whammy chords.

Malaguena dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based faithfully on The Trashmen's arrangement, Ernesto Lecuona's "Malaguena" churns and rocks mightily. It seems a bit murky, but that seems to add drama. The drums are hard driving, though ambiently captured.

Pearly Shells dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pearly Shells" ("Pupu A 'O 'Ewa") is done with easy surf in mind. The rhythm track seems to have some chunk, and the track 'verb gives it a kind of mysterious feeling. It's really nice to see someone cover this Polynesian classic so nicely.

Surfari dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' hard driving "Surfari" is done much as the original, except with the power lessened in part by relatively unsympathetic production. Great drums and dark guitar!

Harem Scarem Surfem dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of tremolo throb creates an air of exotic mystery for this Middle Eastern surf instro. The fast, double picked melody is all oasis, and the Woodies-like rhythm is very chunky, and the melody is part a Woodies pounder and Part a Treble Spankers rave up. This is a great song!

Undertow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Pipeline"-esq rhythm drives "Undertow" right to the bank. This is what surf is for - big rhythm chunk, solid melody lines, and dark tone. A classic surf beat and bass line completes this whammy chord coolerator.

The Wedge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty straight cover of Dick Dale's reinvention of "The Rising Surf" that was based on the break from Al Hazan's "The Dance Of Love" (The Bell Sisters). OK, history lesson aside, The Surfside Four rock with plenty of dark fire and ice in this surf romper.

Mutatis Mutandis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mutatis Mutandis" is a big, dark surf monster with danger all about. Thunder and dark chambers, and it is a gigantor of a grinder. There's definitely dangerous rocks in your future!