Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Jack Vees - Surf Music Againdot
artworkFrom the liner notes: "Jack's 'Surf Music Again' is not so much an homage to the Beach Boys (nor Dick Dale) as it is to Jimi Hendrix. It is one of the most grogeous 'live-electronic' essays I've heard lately. This music reminds me that Jack, despite his roots in southern New Jersey, did 'time' in California (at CalArt)." I would have to say that the liner note's author has never heard surf music, and has no idea what surf music is about. This is mostly just soundscapes. There are a couple of bright spots, tracks worth a spin in the aural landscape, but nothing at all even remotely related to surf music.
Picks: Piano Trio [Hulk Smash], Surf Music Again, Rocket Baby, Stigmata non Grata, SPNFL, Tattoed Barbie

Track by Track Review


Piano Trio [Hulk Smash] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice guitar solo track, swimming with surf reverb and whammy twang. It's delicate and quite original. Without bass and drums, it is free to float on the pure tone of the genre. Without the restrictions of the trad definitions, it is free to communicate "surf" without being derivative. Short at a minute-twenty nine, but satisfying.

Surf Music Again dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the crunchy reverb kick, this track endears itself to you. The melody riff is very strong. The rhythm is solid and infectious, and the spirit of the performance is very fine. Powerful and energetic. The double picking is well metered, and the sounds are mighty surfy. A pummeling short board attack on a ten foot face.

Rocket Baby dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Jim Messina - Glen Frey song solidly delivered, with adequate twang and edge, much like the original Jim Messina & the Jesters release. High energy, and wonderful dribbling glissandoes of notable speed and accuracy.

Stigmata non Grata dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked surf rage, flying notes in a sad but pretty melody, and a fine rhythm, plus fine reverb crashes. This is moderately paced number with an organ in a subtle support role, which adds to the mood of the piece. A short intro sample speaks "God told us to laugh at you. That's right, he TOLD us to laugh at you."

SPNFL dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine and unusual number, structured much like the Bambi Molesters, but played like the Treblemakers. This track is warm and infectious, and very fluid. It employs just a few simple riffs, but uses them so wisely that it is hard to get out of your head once heard. Great track.

Tattoed Barbie dot
Dark Storm Cloud (Instrumental)

Just weird. Not a hint of Barbie, unless you had too much sangria before too much pizza, and it's 3 AM and you just woke up with cold sweat and major indigestion.