Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Wave Benders - Surfin' Christmasdotdot
artworkSo, the artwork shoulda warned you. If that didn't, the rear liners shoulda. I mean, when they said "THE WAVE BENDERS get their original surf sound by using vintage 50's and 60's guitars and amplifiers as well as the electrifying Theramin" I should have know that the omission of the word reverb was not an oversight. Now, that's not to be unkind, but I don't like being misled. There are a few tunes on here with elements of surf, glissandos and double picking, but nothing at all that's groundbreaking, or even above pedestrian. The vintage equipment is set on distortion, not reverb, and the some of the playing techniques, like major label commercial hammer-ons is just absurd, detracting heavily from the surf effect.

Now, that all doesn't mean it's not a reasonable issue as Christmas CD's go. It's just the misrepresentation as surf that I object to. Well, not only that. There are the lame vocal Beach Boys inspired tracks. Compared to the Blue Hawaiian's Christmas On Big Island, this is a never-mind, but then... there just isn't much decent Christmas surf instro stuff. Maybe next year.
Picks: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, What Child Is This, Deck The Halls, The Twelve Days Of Christmas, Do You Hear What I Hear, We Three Kings, Joy To The World, Jingle Bells, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy, We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Track by Track Review

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Straight ahead rock version double picked on the low-E. Pretty good.

What Child Is This dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Pretty fast strait ahead rock, double picked on the low-E.

Deck The Halls dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rapid fire strait ahead rock, double picked on the low-E.

The Twelve Days Of Christmas dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Strait ahead rock version double picked on the low-E, opens with a "Pipeline"-ish rhythm section, has glissandos and a theremin.

Do You Hear What I Hear dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Soft and not very interesting and loaded with quaint oohs and ah-hs.

We Three Kings dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rapid version. On the plus side, there are glissandoes. On the minus side, it's hammer-on driven.

Joy To The World dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Extra fast, but the arrangement sounds like all the instruments are just in each other's way... congested.

Jingle Bells dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Starts softly and almost Hawaiian, promising something different and special, until the band joins in, and then, major let down... pedestrian at best.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer dot
Rock (Vocal)

Jeez, how boring this is.

Silent Night dot
Rock (Vocal)

Slow thereminic choral... why?

Little Drummer Boy dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Double picked rapid fire with the modulator on overtime. The overall effect of the sound is just odd, not special or even interesting.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas dot
Rock (Vocal)

Just those Beach Boys harmonies and chords and...