Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Teens - Surf Maniadotdotdot
artworkThis is a reissue of a rare album, originally released on the cheapo Sutton label. The songs are all all covers. The playing is better than the usual cover band release, mostly being vanity issues. This set is well played and has a unique character. The disc includes several previously unreleased sessions, the entire Sutton album, plus a track from the "World Of Surfing" compilation. The album is much more rare than it is important, but it is a worthwhile look at one of the lower echelon bands of the Central Coast of California. Heavily influenced by the Original Surfaris, this band was from Atascadero, California. I had read somewhere that they were from Morro Bay. I'll trust Deke Dickerson's liner notes on this one. The recording style was from the "you play quiet and it comes out loud here" school, which mostly means low energy performances. The sound is consistent, but damped with the high end rolled off to compensate for the mostly vinyl sources.
Picks: Moonshine, Kalani Wipe Out, Bullwinkle, Sunset Beach, Longboard Surf, Moment Of Truth, Luau, Kalani Wipe Out, Surfin' Tragedy, Steel Pier, Delano Soul Beat, Continental Surf, Chicago Surf, Bullwinkle, Intoxica, Church Key

Track by Track Review


Moonshine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This tune uses a simple progression very effectively, with a nice balance between the lead and rhythm. There's a sorta sad-mean feel blended with an optimism in the lead tones. Quite nice. This is the A-side of the first single. Super rare these days, it's a fine piece of Central Coast vintage surf riff history. It's nice to hear in nice clean stereo.

Kalani Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Original Surfaris tune is well done, fuller sounding than the original and much better recorded. It is from an unreleased master. Well played, it shows off a maturity on the instrument beyond the tender years of the player.

Bullwinkle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This early take of the Central Coast standard is Previously unreleased. It's solid and a lot less evil than the Centurions. More surf, less bad guy, and very well phrased. A fine track.

Sunset Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cover of neighboring SLO surf masters the Sentinals' fine tune written by the incredible Tommy Nuñes. The feel is a lot less Hawaiian and more Spanish exotic. Still, a nice track showing the style of the teen garage surf bands off well. Previously unreleased.

Longboard Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Previously unreleased surf jam sounds, like a cross between the Beach Boys "Surf Jam" and the Original Surfaris' more rhythm dominated work. Nice tune.

Moment Of Truth dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From vinyl, this track is a solid cover of a classic of the period. It's uses the Original Surfaris' arrangement, focusing on the dark lead lines. Rhythmic and well delivered.

Luau dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bruce Johnston's instrumental used by the Beach Boys early on covered much more surfily by the Surf Teens than they did. It depends on chord progressions, but uses some pure surf lead tones as well. Very nice. From vinyl.

Kalani Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Original Surfaris tune is well done, fuller sounding than the original and much better recorded. It is from an unreleased master. Well played, it shows off a maturity on the instrument beyond the tender years of the player.

Surfin' Tragedy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

No one does this as well as Bob Vaught & the Renegaids. This Robert Hafner / Tony Hilder masterpiece is well played here, solid sounding and enjoyable. It's not as emotionally beautiful as Vaught's, but it has a hook into your ears that doesn't let go. Nice track. From vinyl.

Steel Pier dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fellow Central Coast surf band the Impacts laid this down on their classic Wipe Out album. Martin Brown's marvelous lap steel is not here, but the band has found a way to replace the bottleneck slither with energy and surf licks that makes it work just fine. A solid cover with an intensity not found on most of tracks here. From vinyl.

Delano Soul Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The fascination among the surf bands with the east LA sound lead to a number of releases inspired or recorded b y the likes of the Soul Kings, the Rhythm Kings, and others in a style that was known as "surf 'n' soul" or sometimes "pachuko soul." The Mexican influences, jazz leanings, jam structures, and fluid party sounds were infectious and well received by fans. Al Garcia of the Rhythm Kings wrote this tune. This is a solid cover. From vinyl.

Continental Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Originally from fellow Central Coast band the Continentals, this is a more surfy version of this obscure tune. From vinyl.

Chicago Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Norman Knowles and John Hammond wrote this heavily Freddie King ("San-Ho-Zay") influenced tune. It's a notable demonstration of this influence the blues had on surf. Infectious and spirited. The drum break is just plain rippin'. Great track, from vinyl.

Bullwinkle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This early take of the Central Coast standard is Previously unreleased. It's solid and a lot less evil than the Centurions. More surf, less bad guy, and very well phrased. A fine track.

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song was a covered by many of the surf bands. Norman Knowles wrote it for the Revels. Like many of their tunes, it is about drinking. Every version is different. This has an infectious lilt, with fine bass glissandoes. From vinyl.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Revels' classic is shredded out here. The sound is a bit boomy, but otherwise it's a solid cut.