Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Torquays - Return Engagementdotdotdotdot
artworkThese tracks are extracted from the very fine previously released CD's from Garden Grove's Torquays. If you don't know about the Torquays, you need to. Steve Soest's band is staffed by superb musicians, and the writing is exceptional. There are some previously unreleased live tracks here too. Totally great!
Picks: Twilight At Trestles, Tide Pool Q, Dead Sea Stroll, Twitchin', El Sleazo Chorizo, Nervous Tic, Pit Stop, Hodad Holiday, Wig-Wham, Ding, Instant Bull, Rip Curl, Sunset Cruise, Splash Zone, 365 Day Weekend, El Baile de Los Chupacabras, Johnny Cochino, Trilobite, Speedboat, Milagro Del Mar, The Pike, Undertow, Rescue At Mavericks, Attack Of The Flying Squirrels, Roswell Rodeo

Track by Track Review


Twilight At Trestles dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Co-written by the two guitar players, Steve Soest and Gerry Gordon, this is a slower, Spanish influenced, and sensual track. It is fluid, gentle, and very pretty. The drop into a vibrato lead in the middle is a nice touch.

Tide Pool Q dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drummer Duff Paulsen wrote this tune. It's a dramatic number, a little like some of the Evasions' material from a decade ago. Warm, whammified, and infectious, good driving music. Solid track.

Dead Sea Stroll dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song has been around for a while. I'm not sure who the originators were, but it's a very good melody idea, and a solid performance. The catchy nature of this is obvious, and clearly why Steve has kept it in his set for a long time. Great stuff.

Twitchin' dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Steve Soest original, funky, bluesy, surf driven, with an infectious melody and major chunk. The hook value is high, and the energy is solid. It's hard to sit still while this dominates the stereo. A very imaginative melody. I think this is among Steve's best writing.

El Sleazo Chorizo dotdotdotdotdot
Reggae Surf (Instrumental)

This reggae based thing uses a melody line reminiscent of Don't Fear The Reaper, but not derivative of it. It's infectious, way fun, and just quirky enough to capture your heart. Totally in the groove, and imaginative. Original concepts, surfed to the luau max.

Nervous Tic dotdotdot
Fuzz (Instrumental)

Fuzz guitar, edge-o-rama tones, and an almost Davie Allan melody lone from bassist Don Parra. A bit repetitious, but not offensively so. Shredding second guitar double picked under the intense fuzz lead is a nice touch. Go Go surf.

Pit Stop dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Sampled speedway sounds introduce this twango deluxe tune. Its rich tone and basic riff over the solid drums and bass deliver a hot rod pounder. Drummer-guitarist Duff Paulsen wrote this.

Hodad Holiday dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a great title, and an even better track. This delightful piece of writing and excellent playing drips summer adventure. Playful and delicate, and maybe hinting slightly at a cross between Richie Podolor and Pete Curry. Like a spunked up Fireballs, this gives forth with damped surf joy. It goes so well during a top down drive in the country. This is written by S. Wright and B. Mytkowicz.

Wig-Wham dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato, Indian beats, and surf shimmer... it's an unbeatable combination. The shimmer of the guitar magnetically attracts you as you the ringing tone reels out. Very nice indeed! Written by S. Wright and B. Mytkowicz.

Ding dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Those pesky dents in the surfboard are the theme for this pure trad number. The damped reverbed second guitar, the glissandoes, the open road feel, the long rides in the warm SoCal summer sun... it's all here. A perfect surf epic. Pete Curry's impeccable writing is perfectly displayed here.

Instant Bull dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A long over due retitling of "Istanbul" open with that cute little Arab thingy, then rolls with great fun throughout. Just about as cool as they come.

Rip Curl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This light hearted number is a little reminiscent of the Evasions. It's a bouncy and infectious summer surf tune with a fine classic riff and very good playing. Written by B. Mytkowicz.

Sunset Cruise dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Duff Paulsen wrote this bouncy evening respite from a day on the waves. It has a playful party feel, a light hearted and catchy melody, and plenty of the requisite twang. The twin lead verse (one very low under the other) is very nifty.

Splash Zone dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Soest's song of the rhythmic juncture between sea and shore. It pounds, it shreds, it prances, and it plays. The beat, the riffs, the ambiance is just too cool. The steel riffs from Gary Morse add a touch of the South Seas. Dig it!

365 Day Weekend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve's Soest's ode to eternal surf and sand. It laughs with Mexican fiesta warmth and exotic percussion. Happy and carefree, as any self respecting "365 Day Weekend" should be. Playful and bouncy.

El Baile de Los Chupacabras dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Soest's ode to the mythical night creatures of Latin America. Tribal drums, jungle bird calls, and a low-E guitar line reminiscent of Love's "Emotions" combine to deliver a really groovy forbidden faraway place tune. Slightly dangerous, with vibrato throb and tribal urges. Very cool. Some Hollywood type ought to place this in the opening credits of a jungle adventure film.

Johnny Cochino dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Kid Ramos' bluesy guitar shows inspiration from Paul Johnson's bluesier side a la tunes like "Duck Waddle," only smoother and less funky. Nice track.

Trilobite dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This band composition whammies and swirls with a warm and inland feel. The picking is clean and precise, and the track has an overall feel of restrained power.

Speedboat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Speedboat" has a gentle splashy feel, with a very smooth melody line and great whammy chords. The rich tone and infectious tempo keep it interesting, as does the writing, which reminds me just a little of the Pete Curry's work.

Milagro Del Mar dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Deep vibrato throbs an introduction to a catchy and infectious song. Whammy chords separate sections of "Milagro Del Mar," which are each played out in different octaves and styles to keep this fine instro fresh at every turn. Very well arranged and refreshingly bright.

The Pike dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped reverbed guitar bridges between verses of the circular melody. It's not traditionally supported with a surf beat, though it's there in places. "The Pike" is fresh and rich, and features plenty of variations verse to verse. The longer you listen, the more it just seems natural. Excellent and unique surf instro.

Undertow dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ominous in a quiet danger kind of way, the drama gradually builds until the dribbling glissando transitions into the main body of the song. "Undertow" rips and rumbles, lurking to take you out beyond the breakwater when you least expect it. Very cool track.

Rescue At Mavericks dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thunder and plunder at Mavericks, where the walls can be ten times your height. The rumble below portrays the awesome power and danger of the waves there, while the optimistic melody line gives you the sense daredevil that big wave riders must have. "Rescue At Mavericks" has an element of suspense about it, inspired by an in progress rescue of a rider who got in over his head. Brilliant track!

Attack Of The Flying Squirrels dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

They're comin' in from all around you, plunging from the overhead foliage with arms and legs outstretched. "Attack Of The Flying Squirrels" is playful, perhaps like something from the Mighty Mighty Squirrels if they'd ever had a serious bone in their body. A little quirky, and definitely unique.

Roswell Rodeo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Crickets chirp, broken by the crash of a distant craft. It's 1947, Roswell. New Mexico. Suddenly little gray men are riding boards at San Onofre. It's a sight to see. Slightly spooky, and a little distant, "Roswell Rodeo" makes you wonder if your neighbor is just strange, or perhaps something more. Catchy and fun.