Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Thrusters - Surfin' In Beirutdotdotdotdot
artworkThis live session was recorded at their debut concert in Appreciation Hall on the Foothill College campus at a KFJC fundraiser event during October 2000. The band is planning on live shows in the near future in Santa Cruz, and will be recording soon enough as well. While only a handful of rehearsals preceded this session after a decade of silence, the performances were excellent, and the recordings were solid as well. This isn't available commercially at this time, but check with the band later via their website. The band is Soave Loco (Douglas Eaton) - lead guitar/vocals, Roger Rush - rhythm guitar, Pat Wheeler - rhythm guitar, Mark Falge - drums, Keith Graves - bass, Brian Kester - keyboards, Mike Messinas - trumpet.
Picks: Rumble At Waikiki, Miserlou, Soul Surf Stomp, Rumble At Waikiki, Banzai Pipeline, Miserlou, The Landing, Surf Beat / Church Key, Calhoun Surf, Surf Rider, Bombora, Penetration, The Wedge, Mr. Moto, Beirut Surf, Baja, Hammond's, Mavericks, Pipeline

Track by Track Review


Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very rough mix as the sound was brought up. The band was also "getting it together," so it's merely a moment in history.

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again from soundcheck, this is a spirited performance of the Dick Dale classic. The keys add a lot, as does the trumpet.

Soul Surf Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This is one of the great gems from the Thrusters' heyday when they held sway at the Catalyst. It's all about those signs at the beach that proclaim all the things you can't do... no fires on the beach, no fireworks, no alcohol, no fun at all... a great piece.

Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very rough mix as the sound was brought up. The band was also "getting it together," so it's merely a moment in history.

Banzai Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very jazzy and hard edged version of the Henry Mancini surf groove. The guitar and trumpet play against each other, punctuated with big chord guitar breaks and very tough drums. What happenes with the quirky beat of this song at the hands of this large band is spectacular. Long edgy notes punctuating drums, with horn blasts and keys reverberating in the ether. Rock solid!

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again from soundcheck, this is a spirited performance of the Dick Dale classic. The keys add a lot, as does the trumpet.

The Landing dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This magnificent song experiences continuous evolution... much more nasty than the studio session released on What Surf III, this is awesomely disturbing... as Soave said as the intro flowed... "Moss Landing waves... 12 feet and unforgiving." If ever Hendrix lived in the soul of a surf instro, this is it. Vicious waves, horrendously dangerous closeouts, and the thrill of survival. Excellent!

Surf Beat / Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An old Catalyst fave... The band goes through a riotous and raucous deliverance of Dick Dale's earliest real surf tune... Then transition into their signature interpretation of the Revels' "Church Key," where each verse is faster than the last until there's no way to give it more gas... utterly fun.

Calhoun Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Amis' very first instro... grodied up with intensity and destructive power. The band's sense of damaged surf shines right through here.

Surf Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pure classic surf... opened with cow bell and darkly distortioned guitar and warm whammy. The liquid melody line contrast to the edge, which in turn contradicts the liquid playing... very nice.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shredding guitar lines, with great subtle keys underneath. It creates a smooth sound. The sax here is very jazzy and French as it dominates the breaks with flowing notes. A very solid version of this Original Surfaris' song.

Penetration dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you know, I don't much care for covers of familiar standards unless they are unusual or break new ground. This does both. It howls and builds on the twin note lead guitar and synchronized sax melody line, almost like you might imagine what would happen if the Allman Brothers did this song. Most unusual.

The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soave Loco has been powering this classic Dick Dale tune forever. His machine gun attack and extreme edge transform it from Dick's power surf to assault rifle shredding. Yikes!

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythm guitarist Roger Rush plays lead on the Belairs' classic "Mr. Moto." Big rhythm, splashy drive, and lots of fire.

Beirut Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Now, this is a vocal, but it's easily 80% instro and is such a stunning song... haunting antiwar middle eastern epic tale of "surf blown away by hatred and greed... empty cartridge spent..." The trumpet is spectacular... The lead guitar crisp and emotional... The keys sad and supportive... The drums and bass in perfect sync... and Soave's vocal is in perfect Arabic warble. Chilling and dangerous, sad and warlike.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Totally unique variation on the Astronauts' great surf hit. It's smooth, fast, has a hot lead, a vibrato rhythm guitar, a magnificent sax bridge, cool keys in the breaks, and a great big finish that ends stark cold. Wow.

Hammond's dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a brand new song from Soave Loco. It's intense yet silky, showing off the glistening curl at "Hammond's" where sunny afternoons glide away on the face of many a glassy wall. Really infectious in a warm soul way...

Mavericks dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As the song is about to open, drummer Mark Falge (The Fog) draped the boys in real kelp... retrieved from the deadly rocks at "Mavericks." The monster waves and gnarly swirl of the huge waves at the legendary Mavericks ooze from every corner of this powerful piece. The band closed out the set with this.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The encore was a rousing fiery interpretation of the Chantays' "Pipeline." They hadn't played it in 15 years, but rose to the occasion with an inspirational delivery as only the Thrusters can, with trumpet and thunder. They jammed on the theme into throbbing drama and vibrato ecstasy, punctuated by metallic guitar and monster swirl.