Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Zombies - Something Weirddotdotdotdot
artworkWell, this is an interesting release. It's based in frat rock and riff rock, but there's plenty of tone magic and pulsing rhythm to keep you engaged. Imagine a cross between Los Straitjackets, The Tiki Tones, and really dark reverb, and you might be ready for The Surf Zombies.
Picks: Trac El Funebre (The Hearse), Dead Man's Alley, I Fell In Love With A Teenage Vampire, 50 Cc, The High Rip, Buzzard Hop, Something Weird, Candy Cigarettes, Alien Eyes, Surfin' Ghoul, Mind Worm, Crawl Space Crawl, Incognito, Electric Skull, Rockabilly Boogie Man, The Zombie Stomp, Aqua Waltz

Track by Track Review


Trac El Funebre (The Hearse) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Trembling guitar introduces "Trac El Funebre" ("The Hearse," but that one). This is a big throbber that's much more about the intensity than melody. There are parts of the song that hint of the Middle East, and others that are simply relentless.

Dead Man's Alley dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song starts off from its galloping rhythm one note bass line, which turns out to be a superb underpinning for "Dead Man's Alley." Slightly spaghetti, with long whammy chords and dangerous strangers riding into town. I like this a lot.

I Fell In Love With A Teenage Vampire dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"I Fell In Love With A Teenage Vampire" has a splendid ringing second guitar and fuzzy lead. It has the "ring" of an era gone by. It's all about the aural wash, which is gritty and primal, and on the scary side.

Road Rage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Road Rage" is a dark and rich riff rocker with a disquieting melody line. Punchy and thumpy.

50 Cc dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rough edged second guitar plunks down a dangerous mechanical pattern while a fuzzy verby lead flurries about nervously. "50 Cc" reminds me of some of the Russian and European surf hybrids. Very cool, and very unusual.

The High Rip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

garage attack with fast picked angular melody lines. "The High Rip" is all spunk, no hum. It's nervous intensity are very effective. Great drums!

Buzzard Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very dark tremolo guitars threaten all that is safe and sound. I'd guess Link Wray was the inspiration. The menacing sound, dark glissandos, and thundering drums and bass add up to one mean track.

Something Weird dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Something Weird" is an engaging surf instro with a "Pipeline"-esq rhythm and a fine melody line. Glissandos, catchy rhythm, long sustain sadness, and an overall very cool sound add up to a great track.

Don't Let The Admiral Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Don't Let The Admiral Out" is a bumping, frat rock style instro based around a riff. I imagine it's pretty fun live with a grin on the band's faces.

Candy Cigarettes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Highly unusual, delicate and light percussion, a wholly original guitar line, and spacy keys. While it could be characterized as gimmicky, I think that label does it a disservice. Oh, it's happy and weird alright, but it's also very hard not to like, and stands up to multiple listenings.

Alien Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gritty rhythm guitar and melody riff ride above solid base and drums. This is a great track for a drive. Rich, powerful, and very well done.

Surfin' Ghoul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

raucous drums pound out a tuff beat, guitars thrash chords, and a catchy riff dances off the tremolo guitar. "Surfin' Ghoul" is fun and thick and infectious too.

Extended Tour dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy and riffy, with swirling organ. "Extended Tour" seems pretty much like a frat rocker to me, and sounds like a beefy Tiki Tones.

Leonard dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lumbering and slithering on a runway like a poor relation to "Heartbreak Hotel." Sensual drums and dark guitar.

Mind Worm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick and chunky, "Mind Worm" stomps and rings out. Long notes decay slowly, and the evolving melody line has drama like a Link Wray song. This is slightly ominous and definitely engaging.

Crawl Space Crawl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low dark guitar tone, very low bass rumble, and a lumbering pace. Tremolo danger and richness add to the mix. "Crawl Space Crawl" grows on you.

Incognito dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sorta ska like, delicate and interesting, and sporting great bass work. The pace gradually increases, as does the volume, drama, and energy. "Incognito" is not particularly melodic, but it's engaging and quite original. It stands up to repeated listenings.

Electric Skull dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn"-ish, tremolo whammied, and moody. "Electric Skull" is not really melodic, but neither is "Peter Gunn." Dark, cycling, brooding, and endearing.

Rockabilly Boogie Man dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big whammy chords, a rockabilly beat, and a riff rock structure. Imagine Los Straitjackets with more reverb and darkness, and you might hear this. Pretty fun.

The Zombie Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool drums, dark menacing riffs and tone, and gritty glissandos. "The Zombie Stomp" presents some very nice sounds. Riff rock for sure, but wet and gnarly. Great drums.

Aqua Waltz dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Really slow and dramatic, island whining guitar, lovely chords, perfectly plucked bass, and precision drums. It's the really slow pace combined with the reverb and ambiance that makes this very cool!