Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Urban Surf Kings - Snowman Rumble
|This is a thoroughly entertaining and traditionally oriented surf Christmas release from the ever more wonderful Urban Surf Kings. Only seven songs, but what a fine collection. they approach these classics in the same way that the Ventures did so many years ago, by radically rearranging them and infusing parts of classic instros. The adaptations are entirely original and very well done. Simply superb!|
Picks: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Jingle Bells, Oh No, It's Christmas Time Again, Little Drummer Boy, We 3 Kings, Huron Carol, Carol Of The Bells (Hey Santa Claus)
Track by Track Review
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Well now, this is a refreshingly traditional surf arrangement of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." The opening drum beat is liberated from "Hawaii Five-0," the bass and rhythm guitar lines come from "Walk Don't Run '64," and combination is brilliant under this class Christmas melody. The reverb is heavy and the chunk quite sufficient, thank you! Strong and well adapted to the surf idiom, this version sips with glissandos, splashes with damped reverbed rhythm, and rides atop a classic surf beat. Simply wonderful!
Kinda like as if the Ventures were a surfband and Santo and Johnny Farina played surf guitars. "Raw-Hide" provides a bridge, which fits seamlessly into the song.
Oh No, It's Christmas Time Again
The opening of "Oh No, It's Christmas Time Again" seems influenced by the Mach IV or Meshugga Beach Party, the bridge jumps into split-channel stereo ukuleles for a few lines, and then the lap ukulele comes in, before returning control to double picked guitar. Quite adventurous.
Tribal drums and bass undulate under "Little Drummer Boy" in an interesting contrast. A countrified surf verse, jazzy lines, those great drums that seem to not to "Wipe Out" via the jazzed up guitar chords, and reverb aplenty. I think this one of the more unusual versions of this song.
Pipeline glissandos and rhythms run underneath a surf whammy version of "We 3 Kings." Double picked lines, splashy reverb, great whammy chords, Spanish guitarisms, and big grins.
"Huron Carol" is a very cool instro, with great surf sound and structure, and glorious sound. The "Penetration" beat, a great melody, and an infectious production. The ska bit in the middle is a nice touch. This is entirely cool!
Carol Of The Bells (Hey Santa Claus)
Warm swimming whammy tone, tribal drums, rich intensity, and a fast delivery of this classic song. The feeling of the song is completely changed. The flippant nature of the arrangement makes it seem so very celebrative. Extra cool.