Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Thunderchiefs - Digdotdotdotdot
artworkThis Denver band has written some very cool songs, and play with a genuine sense of what surf is all about. There are a couple of stereo tracks here, with the rest being mono, some of which are processed with stereo reverb. They are not of consistent quality, some more demo than others, but don't let that stop you. The vocals are quite surf-garagy. Recommended.

By the way, in some ways, this is an emerging supergroup, with refugees from Death Valley and Ugly Beats (Joe Emory), The Sir Finks (Mike Guerreo, who brings their pulsing rhythm sense), Big Sandy’s Fly Rite Boys, Finks, and Sleazy Surfers (Bobby Trimble), and High Noon and Shifters (Shaun Young). This was cut at home (Jet Tone Studios is Shaun’s 10x8 extra bedroom) on an old 8 track and a hand full of vintage condenser and dynamic microphones.
Picks: Cry Of The Thunderchiefs, The Last Ride, Buzzard Coupe, Deep Six, Wound Up!, Gremmies Holiday, Commanche Moon, Off The Board, Drag-N-Fly, Cry Of The Thunderchiefs

Track by Track Review


Cry Of The Thunderchiefs dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cry Of The Thunderchiefs" is a fastish number with a solid surf rhythm and traditional arrangement. The melody is modern surf in style, while the muted reverb and rhythmic playing harkens back to the day. Quite cool!

The Last Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow and sultry track shimmers with tremolo beauty as it tells of glassy walls and longboards. The warmth of the sun and the tropical breezes ooze from "The Last Ride" as if it was a film of a Hawaiian afternoon. Very pretty and very soothing.

Buzzard Coupe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aggressive double picked surf with vintage drums and arranging. It could easily have been discovered on some lonely obscure b-side. A great riff and dribbling muted second guitar. Excellent!

Deep Six dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Deep Six" is the sort of song that came from the Belairs with reverb, or maybe more like the Packards. Either way, Paul Johnson's influence is clear. Very cool!

Wound Up! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In the mold of the Sandals' "6 Pack" with richer reverb, this track is innocent and very traditional. It's amazing just how period "Wound Up!" is.

Gremmies Holiday dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The delightful muted reverb melody is more than surf, it's very engaging. The sound is a lot like some of those wonderful Midwest singles where the bands abused the muted thing to perfection. I love this!

Commanche Moon dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In full Indian motif, with great Indian drums, "Commanche Moon" uses reverb and surf and tribal emotionalism to convey a romantic image. This is an excellent song born of a wonderful idea and execution. Superb!

Off The Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a highly rhythmic track with grand reverb and an overload of surfisms. Wait - did I say that? How can you overload surfisms? Anyway, it's perfectly vintage and extremely cool. Twang, whammy, reverb crashes, and lovely muted reverb tone.

Drag-N-Fly dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a buzzing insect, the guitar circles without landing between catchy riff lines. It's a bit gimmicky, but then there were lots of slightly gimmicky classic surf singles that are still treasured. This sure sounds like it was unearthed at a garage sale in Oxnard.

Cry Of The Thunderchiefs dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an alternate version of the first track without the stereo reverb wash. Beefier and just as enjoyable.