Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Waikiki Kuks - No Man's Wavedotdotdotdot
artworkNo Man's Wave is a fine album from the Waikiki Kuks. It's aurally very consistent, with rhythm dominance and excellent use of melody. Lots to like here!
Picks: Diamond Head, Mods And Rockers, Brainless, Bombora, Pleasant Dreams, Shake-N-Stomp, Caucasian Go-Go, Deadly Effect, Penetration, Zero Tolerance, Intoxica, Throttle Full Open, Don't Look Back, Moment Of Truth, No Man's Wave

Track by Track Review


Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big swimming whammy and muted reverb rhythm drive this heavy and wet version of Danny Hamilton's fine "Diamond Head." This is thick and very much about the rhythm.

Mods And Rockers dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mods And Rockers" has a very cool melody, which generates a real sense of motion. Its energy is excellent, and its relentless flow verges on wearing you out.

Brainless dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a superb original with infectious rhythm and a very cool melody that leans a little on wet Link Wray-ish chords. Long garage reverb glissandos and a beautiful rhythm really make this work, but its the melody that's just so cool. I've come back to "Brainless" many times, which is the mark of success with me.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Larry Weed' "Bombora" is spatial and dark, but not super aggressive and overpowering like The Original Surfaris' original. That doesn't detract at all. This is right in the pocket with Waikiki Kuks' sound. Very nice.

Pleasant Dreams dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An interesting easy but not light weight track with a Southwest image and wet sound. "Pleasant Dreams" is quite nice.

Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among Dick Dale's garagier instrumentals, "Shake-N-Stomp" is more fluid and less aggressive than originally done. It hasn't lost any of its charm,just the rough edges. It's very satisfying.

Caucasian Go-Go dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Caucasian Go-Go" has a well rounded melody with an even better break. This will carry you down that winding road to the lost break. The break melody has a sense of the Middle East. I don't know what the title means, unless it's a reference to the fact that surf music is essentially an indigenous folk music of white suburbs and beach culture.

Deadly Effect dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Deadly Effect" is big and fastish and intense. The pattern here is not far from Armageddon's "Buzzard," and it has similar energy, though the edge is rounded by the reverb. What's interesting about this is that none of the bands I've talked to who have used similar patterns even knew about Keith Relf's band.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Penetration" with stereo muted reverb gets mighty rhythmic. It's a bit faster, and very thick.

Zero Tolerance dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A dark pattern on both lead and rhythm guitars makes "Zero Tolerance" very chunky and rhythmic. The melody is on the ominous side. The threatening nature is the main feature.

Intoxica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Neal Nissensen and Robert J. Hafner's often covered drinking song seems not to be very far from The Apemen's version, though the swimming whammy chords are different.

Throttle Full Open dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Throttle Full Open" has a fluid riff and friendly sound. It's a bit dark, but mostly riffy. The higher register last verse with the dribble double picking is very strong!

Don't Look Back dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very tasteful whammy, a galloping rhythm, and bit of sadness combine in "Don't Look Back" to create an exotic edge that's sometimes cowboy, sometimes Bedouin, and always cool. Adventurous and mysterious.

Moment Of Truth dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Larry Weed's heavy thunder instro with dark reverb gives it a less abrasive sound, and a more liquid feel. This song is just so enduring and well written that it always sounds good.

No Man's Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stereo muted reverb rhythm and a splendid classic melody line make "No Man's Wave" sound like it's not all that far from 1963. Very cool!