Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Trio - Forbidden Soundsdotdotdot
artworkWay past due for some new Surf Trio music, this CD comes just in time to save my life. This time out, Portland's most excellent aggressive surf band have assembled a collection of mostly very fine tracks with a little less attack and a little more finesse than their last effort. Some very good writing and arranging delivered by a seasoned and talented band. There are also a couple of vocals, including "Party In My Dorm," "Tra-La-La," and and untitled 21st track.
Picks: Hey Man, Cut The Comedy!, Salt Bath, Vibrosurf, Bring Me The Head Of Geraldo Rivera, Agent Invisible Goes West, Clatskanie, Little Death Coupe, Forbidden Fruit, Perfidia, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. French, Foglifter, Sharkskin Board, Surfin' With The Mountain King, Surfwalk, Water Witch, Bandolero, To Surf With Love, Calico Cat

Track by Track Review


Hey Man, Cut The Comedy! dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Jeepers, cowboy silly mixed with way short super cool unpretentious fun.

Salt Bath dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like their soundtrack to the TLC program Neat Stuff, the B-side of this single is in aggressive and high spirited. It's a rippin' tube-riding assault! I am most fond of this style from this band. Highly infectious.

Vibrosurf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is credited to guitarist Pete Weinberger, but the melody riff line is very close to the Halibuts' "Hammerhead." It's an excellent track, very VERY infectious and really well developed, with Spanish flair and surf chunk.

Bring Me The Head Of Geraldo Rivera dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped surf rhythm guitar and a simple whammy chord progression make up most of this tune which shows just how much can be accomplished with a well turned progression and balanced arrangement of a simple idea. Really enjoyable.

Agent Invisible Goes West dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With rolling cowboy flair, this western, almost spaghetti tune relies on a simple and very effective idea fleshed out with good arranging. Nice tune.

Clatskanie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering vibrato throbbing with left-right delayed pulsing grabs your attention without punch or angst. It's pretty and light weight, but not at all week. In some ways, it's a little like some of the Super Stocks material updated.

Little Death Coupe dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Surf wham under an organ melody that's tasty enough. Not enough textural variety for my taste.

Forbidden Fruit dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chomping rhythms and excellent surf melody come together here to create a nice merger between Eddie & the Showman trad and modern Portland surf. Solid, edgie, and well arranged.

Perfidia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Perfidia" is more surf than the Ventures' version, though certainly owing its life to it. Really tasty. There's no new ground broken, just reverent deliverance from the dusty shelf of yesteryear.

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. French dotdotdot
Hoe Down (Instrumental)

Under thirty seconds and a mere one verse long, this is an odd little post barndance thing that stands out like a hayseed at a black and white ball.

Foglifter dotdotdot
Pacific Northwest (Instrumental)

A smoother sound for the Surf Trio, with an organ accompaniment that gives it a sound not unlike the Wailers' Mashi, but less frantic. Jazzy, Pacific Northwest cool, with that R&B groove required to convey that PNW period.

Sharkskin Board dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sharkskin Board" is an excellent surf instro opening with crunchy reverb kicks and delivered with flair and interest. It has a solid melody line and a sad or ominous lilt. Quite a good track. The whammy is perfect and the surfability factor high.

Surfin' With The Mountain King dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like you might guess, "Hall Of The Mountain King" turned surf. This works way better than either the ELO attempt or the Hawkwind variation. An obvious adaptation with strong results. Nice pick.

Surfwalk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfwalk" is a slow mood number with near lap steel Hank Marvinesque guitar tone and melody. Nifty and enjoyable, and fresh enough to avoid the clone label.

Water Witch dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thump, reverb, warm tone, and a very nice melody line. Not exactly killer, but the sort of track that will leave a mark and have you coming back for a replay.

Bandolero dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bandolero" features heavy damped reverb rhythms and spaghetti-Spanish melody influences. It is a very well written thing that seems to have enduring power. It is moderately powered, relying on really good playing and finesse to carry it off. The trumpet mid track is the crowning touch. Great track.

To Surf With Love dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Copping the title from Pollo Del Mar, but not the film theme morphed as theirs is, this is a happy and energetic track with tight double picking dribbling the melody lines with solid rhythms behind.

Calico Cat dotdotdot
Suave (Instrumental)

Funky cool jazz roundness and playful feline sensibility. Lurking alley cat cartoon accompaniment seems the destiny for this fun track.