Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Sluts - Surf And Destroydotdotdotdot
artworkOK, there may be just one instro here, but the Surf Sluts are just too much fun to ignore. Their demented vocals, punk chords, and sense of humor are amazingly engaging. Never did "Sloop John B" and "Material Girl" sound so cool!
Picks: Surf And Destroy, I'm Your Doctor, Love Me, Just Along For The Ride, Demon Seed, Kill Surf City, Drinking Bleach, Bikers From Hell, Material Gurl, Son Of Sam, Surfin' On Heroin, Mushroom Man, Sloop John B, There's More Songs About Surf, Drugs And Drink

Track by Track Review

Surf And Destroy dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Opening with an uneasy version of George Harrison's "It Won't Come Easy," which quickly segues through a jet passing by into an angry, argumentative, and punkoidal attack. Quite heavy and aggressive.

I'm Your Doctor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Heavy and dark distortion-edged chordage drives this angst 'n' roll lust song. "I'm Your Doctor" is classic in its abandon, energy and subject. The guitar in the break is all noodly and psychedelic.

Love Me dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

An Agent Orange-like "Pipeline"-esq rhythm drives "Love Me" really hard. It's surf in the vein of the D.I.'s superb "Pray For Surf." This is emblematic of the whole disc, with surf at the edges of the garage, and demented lyrics. Very cool.

Just Along For The Ride dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

"Just Along For The Ride" is mostly aggressive, with lots of loud rockin' energy and nonsense lyrics. The lead vocal runs low in the mix, making you listen for it in the way some early rock'n'roll did when it was more about mystery and coded language than song.

Demon Seed dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

IN the way that seventies punk bands made hay with sixties garage anthems, The Surf Sluts make "Demon Seed" seem like a classic all updated. This is really strong.

Kill Surf City dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

With a faux country backtrack and demented country vocal, "Kill Surf City" is a picnic basket of good times. You wonder why it's called "Kill Surf City" until you get to the breaks where you realize it's a nod to The Jesus And Mary Chain's song - sorta. The singer apes dogs barking and holing. It's a long song with several changes. It's just very fun and certainly slightly crazy.

Drinking Bleach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This is a punkoidal number with a slightly crazy edge. It's big and nasty, reminding me of a serious version of the punk parodies done by Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoia. Dark and spunky.

Bikers From Hell dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bikers From Hell" is a dark fuzz rocker with a surfish structure and a nod to Davie Allan. Harsh, loud, aggressive, and very powerful. This reminds me of the way the Smithereens used to completely rock out surf instros.

Material Gurl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Borrowing the chorus from the Rivingtons' "Papa Oom Mau Mau" as transformed by the Trashmen in "Surfin' Bird," this redefinition of Madonna's "Material Girl" is splendidly stoopid and arguable they way it should have been done. Superb!

Son Of Sam dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Sickness and garage punk run amok as "Son Of Sam" unfolds. It takes several verses to arrive at the lyrics, such as they are. They are more like a backdrop most of the time. Once in full view, it becomes clear that insanity rules.

Surfin' On Heroin dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

I expected this to be a cover of the Forgotten Rebels' song of the same name, but it's not. This is just as dark and unforgiving, but the melody line is more like a Beach Boys parody done in the punk style.

Mushroom Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Circling and getting angry, "Mushroom Man" is a sort of disturbed transaction between the fifties and the late seventies and the 21st century. It's really quite remarkable how the craziness seems to fit right in. Quite fun.

Sloop John B dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This is perhaps the most original arrangement "Sloop John B" yet. Imagine the Sex Pistols covering the Beach Boys. Its heavy guitars and writhing angst are a stark contrast to the melody. This is superb!

The song was originally a traditional folk song from the West Indies, probably Nassau. The earliest known recording is a field recording captured by Alan Lomax in 1927 under the name "Hoist Up the John B. Sail," with an early cover coming from the Weavers as "Wreck of the John B." the song taken from a collection by Carl Sandburg (1927). Dick Dale liberated it on his first album.

There's More Songs About Surf, Drugs And Drink dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

False starts, chatter, and a short blast of a song. What a way to close out this very aggressive and entertaining CD.