Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Susan And The SurfTones - Coast To Coastdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is an mp3 only release on Rickshaw that compiles a solid cross section of Susan And The SurfTones' tracks over a long time span. If you don't know about Susan And The SurfTones, you should.
Picks: Blue Hammer 99, Stinger 67, Tiki Kiki, Sunburn, Clam Digger, Deathmobile, Tramp, Spanish Wave, Beat Rider, Tabu, Space Spider, The Blue Hammer, Vincent 87, Shanghai Hotel, Barbados Twist, Night In Old Town, Mexican Spaceman, End Of Days

Track by Track Review

Blue Hammer 99 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the first time "Blue Hammer 99" has appeared on CD. Updated from the earlier version, it is more edgy and rockin'. Solid infectious picking, ambient organ, and a driven rhythm section.

Stinger 67 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic tribal drums work well under this very pleasing and enjoyable track. The melody riff is playful and original. The band's energy is superb. I think this is right up there with Susan's best work. magnificent!

Tiki Kiki dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the first issue of the studio take of "Tiki Kiki," a particularly cool tune with a solid riff and lots of power, plus a very powerful bridge. Kim 13's organ counterpoints Susan's edge nicely, and the "Day Tripper" bass line in the break is great! Solid drum work completes the track.

Sunburn dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sunburn" is dramatic, happy, and simple. It sneaks into your soul when you least expect it. It sounds like they're in the other room, but that ads to the charm. It's a sorta big hall sound. Interesting track.

Clam Digger dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a '98 composition of Susan's. The melody is a high register minor menace, sad and haunting, over a rhythm guitar-organ backtrack that supports it well. The unusual melody is quite appealing.

Deathmobile dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The rhythm guitar is fuzzed out, adding an edge and chunk to "Deathmobile." The song is a little garage, a little biker, a little surf. It's a bit thick and slightly dangerous. Bassist Dan Fergusen wrote this and played the rhythm guitar.

Tramp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grinding edge, solid power, and a riff that says "hello, I'm your captain." The balance between the guitar and organ is quite nice.

Spanish Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Spanish Wave" sports a Spanish feel, a nice melody line, and plenty of infectious energy. This is the highlight of the CD for me. It's the track I come back to.

Beat Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Original tune from Susan's pen. Her writing just keeps getting better. This is a nice number that reminds me a bit of some of Paul Johnson's mid-eighties material with it's frequent changes and chord dominance.

Tabu dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotic (Instrumental)

Original tune with a jungle beat and mystic island drums a la Ron Wilson. The minimal melody does not hamper the likability of this tune. It's not lounge at all, but it is definitely exotic.

Space Spider dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

"Space Spider" sports a warbly guitar sound over a fifties instro structure. Throbbing and vintage, with an ominous feel.

The Blue Hammer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Blue Hammer" a bluesy progression, a soulful guitar instro, and a surfy exercise in guitar jamming. It doesn't exactly sport a melody, but the progression is interesting enough to hold your attention.

Vincent 87 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The guitar lines and tone are significantly different for the band. The melody is well developed and gentle. "Vincent 87" is a very fluid and summery instro with a compelling and warm sound. Avory's organ adds a kind of Summer of Love feel to the track. Marky Kelly co-wrote the song with Susan Yasinski, and plays on it as well. I found my self listening to this repeatedly. It's a pleasant song that hooks right into a sunny mood. A very nice track!

Shanghai Hotel dotdotdot
Surf Blues (Instrumental)

"Shanghai Hotel" is a bluesy number that roles along like it's late on a Saturday night in a soul food bar where surfers do the hang. Electric and modern, yet very much like Chicago Blues at the beach.

Barbados Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Original tune in a jam-like structure. It features a Steve Douglas style sax break. Quite the twangfest.

Night In Old Town dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title track opens from a bluesy bass line and playful guitar riff. "Night In Old Town" is a light weight fanciful song that reminds me of John D. Loudermilk's instrumental work. Catchy and fun.

Mexican Spaceman dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mexican Spaceman" is a very unusual song. I'm not sure where the title comes from, but the song is decidedly interesting in an unsettling sort of way. Dan Fergusen's strange little melody is twanged and stung above an odd beat.

End Of Days dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Susan's melody is haunting and calmly aggressive here. The song's ambiance is a little spooky, but mostly it's warming and moody. Excellent arranging.