Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Tiki Taboo - S/Tdotdot
artworkReally amateur production and often restrained performances mar this CD, and all too common covers done without creative arranging really finish it off. It may be OK as a booking device, but its not more than that. If you never hear this, you won't miss much.
Picks: Miserlou, Bumble Bee Twist, Rockin' The Cradle, Fortune Cookie, Walk Don't Run, Repent, China Wall, Shark Bait

Track by Track Review


Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This version of Nicolas Roubanis' "Miserlou" is reminiscent of The Challengers, in that it's restrained, metered, moderately paced, and lower energy. That's not bad, just an observation. It's well played and enjoyable.

Penetration dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The lead organ is very odd carrying the melody in The Pyramids' "Penetration," but the rhythm track is rather solid. The bridges feature way too much digital reverb.

Surf Rider dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the slowest, and maybe the least interesting cover of this venerable classic I've ever heard. It's sluggish, uninspired, and uses way too much digital reverb on the track.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really low energy interpretation of Mike Gordon's song. Oddly, it works OK this way, but it takes getting used to.

Black Sand Beach dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Murky production overdoes the snare while hiding the lead guitar. Yuzo Kayama and the Launchers' "Black Sand Beach" is OK arranged like this, but the production values are counterproductive, and the guitar effects just odd. The one verse with the ska rhythm is kinda cool.

Endless Summer dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Sandals' "Endless Summer" is tricked out in vacation shimmer via the steel-drum like keys. Otherwise it's just an OK cover with too much track reverb.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" uses the Ventures' arrangement with one really original change via the mix - the lead guitar actively pans around like a buzzing bumble bee, and the tremolo rhythm guitar throbs in sync via channel delay. It's really interesting how it extends the imagery. The rest of the track mix also is much better than others here.

Bulldog dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While relatively precise, The Fireballs' "Bulldog" seems uninspired. The dog hollers don't help.

Rockin' The Cradle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rockin' The Cradle" is a pretty nice track. The production is murky, but the melody and whammy chords are quite nice despite being low energy. This is a song with potential. It's circular melody line is friendly and memorable. The breaks/bridges are uninspired, and shouting through sections of the track does not make it sound like there's more energy here.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a relatively straightforward cover of Jerry Lordan's "Apache," arranged more or less like Jorgen Ingmann's hit. This is pleasant and enjoyable, but not memorable.

Fortune Cookie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big gong opens "Fortune Cookie." The circular rhythm riff is liberated from Little Richard's "Lucille," and the stereotype Japanese riff that passes for a melody on the right is made to work with some interesting double picked guitar on the left. The drumming is really solid.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The rhythm track here is just different enough to keep this from being just another cover. Partly based on The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run '64" arrangement, it's refreshing to hear. The lead is low in the mix to make the stereo rhythm stand out, and in this arrangement, that seems to work.

Repent dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A mournful howl and tribal drums set the stage for the sad melody. Aside from a lack of leveling the lead guitar, the track is haunting and engaging. A high potential number with genuine emotional content, and a moving, pretty melody.

China Wall dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"China Wall" has a cool melody line, and mostly solid arranging, though sometimes the rhythm guitar is overbearing, and on occasion, at odds with the melody. I like the song, and would like to hear it with a more fleshed out arrangement, and much better production values. All that included, I like it for its originality and infectious beat.

Pipeline dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an over reverbed take on The Chantays' "Pipeline" with scary keys that are over the top in the way at times. This is a lackluster performance that's all rhythm and no energy.

Peking Duck dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is just inches from Chuck Berry's "Memphis" in many ways, but it's more repetitious and less interesting. Bandmates quacking like ducks does not a great song make.

Shark Bait dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shark Bait" employs a classic circular AABA riff pattern that's pretty darn vintage sounding. The classic surf beat, tastefully mixed keys, and rhythmic guitars are well suited for the song. The lead guitar's double picked solos lack meter and energy, and the guitar effects in the break are just cheesy. Still, there's great potential here, and if don't listen critically, you'll dig it.

Diamond Head dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Hamilton's "Diamond Head" is done in a tame fashion. Nothing really stands out to separate this from a sea of covers, except that the transition from the opening guitar line to the rhythm is rough.

Wipe Out dot
Surf (Instrumental)

OK guitar, flash-free drums, and low energy. Listed as "Wipeout," which was The Impacts song, this is a so-so cover of The Surfaris' "Wipe Out." The bass is particularly rough here.