Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Krautsurf - 31 Baggersee Tunes
|This is one solid compilation. German surfbands display their wares with pride and solid performances. Recommended.|
Picks: Achtung Rakete - Ojo Misiles, Menage a' Trois, The Cave 4 - Boulevard Patrol, Hot Ride, Commando - The Emperor, Lost Boy, The Cruncher - In My Chair, Stronzo Gelantino and the Boo-Men - Lonesome Stronzo, La Mosca, The Kilaueas - Tunguska Blast!, Stranded, Leopold Kraus Wellenkapelle - Drauben am groben Riff, Los Twang! Marvels - Carioca, Rancho Cucamonga, The Birke Maier Trio - Banzai Oranke, Baja, The Orgaphonics - Hot Rod, The Orgophonics - Sunset Rider, Pozor Vlak - Crazy Kruger, Fresh, The Razorblades - Longboard Queen, Headshaker, Robert and the Roboters - Der Sonne Entegen, Feuerland, The Sidemen - The Persuaders, Havanna, Surfpatrouille - Eskalator, Slot Car Racer, Way Out West - Motorhula, Evolution, Oh, My Dear
Track by Track Review
Achtung Rakete - Ojo Misiles
Surf and Euro melody structures mix together in a splendid track. Delicate and engaging, "Ojo Misiles" has a lush island sound and very friendly melody. Great drums and rich textures command attention. Excellent.
Achtung Rakete - Menage a' Trois
Just a touch dark, "Menage a' Trois" portrays a saucy sense of adventure. Its unusual melody and arrangement add a slight carnival edge, and drums round out the track with perfection. Cool and a little nervous, yet very satisfying.
The Cave 4 - Boulevard Patrol
This wonderful muted reverb fest is very playful and enjoyable. Its contrasting verses and simple circular melody line are very cool. The big verses are heavy and soaring, while the delicate verses are are simply superb.
Heavy pulsing rhythm and rock riffology in reverb and great drums are driven by the powerful bass lines. This is big and powerful, with a very cool long sustain-feedback line near the middle.
Heavy Sci-fi Surf (Instrumental)
A menacing and heavy pulsing keyboard sequence churns under a disturbingly dark melody. Future shock sci-fi danger runs throughout this alien attack. Intense.
"Lost Boy" may be the most futurist piece here. There's more dementia and twisted darkness than all the others, and the melody is like a Middle Eastern slaughter over amazingly addictive tribal drums. A great track that rivals the Astroglides for evil, but is slower and more dramatically moody.
The Cruncher - In My Chair
This fifties style rocker is reverbed and bouncy in a too cool for school way. It's fun and rhythmic, and features excellent surf reverb.
Stronzo Gelantino and the Boo-Men - Lonesome Stronzo
Great traditional European melody sounds and rhythms with surfy edge and superb playing make "Lonesome Stronzo" a solid track well worth tracking down. Rich in textures and energy, and full of gypsy imagery.
Stronzo Gelantino and the Boo-Men - La Mosca
"La Mosca" is a playful track with a simple riff and surf twang. The very infectious reverb rhythm makes this shine! Whatever Lola Wants, Lola gets fast.
The Kilaueas - Tunguska Blast!
This is a fast track that structurally and arrangement wise could have come from Jim Messina, but didn't. "Tunguska Blast!" is superb, with great drums and splash everywhere. Lots of energy and power, and a chorus that gives it a spaghetti edge.
"Stranded" is a lovely slow song with the kind of imagery that the Surf Raiders' gorgeous "Long Boards At San Onofre" conjures. The shimmer of the tremolo and the haunting beauty of the melody are superb, and in muted reverb passages, well... it owns you. Great track!
Leopold Kraus Wellenkapelle - Drauben am groben Riff
Pop Surf (Instrumental)
Euro twang, surf whammy, drama, and pumping organ. Great surf guitar, infectious sound, and a carefree oceanic sound.
Los Twang! Marvels - Carioca
Surf Rock (Instrumental)
"Carioca" has been done as a rock instro many times. This version romps and rocks, and the guitar swims on a sea of long tape echo.
Los Twang! Marvels - Rancho Cucamonga
Surf Rock (Instrumental)
This is a very spirited and happy song, with great drums and flying guitar. "Rancho Cucamonga" grabs you instantly, and doesn't let go. Did I mention the drums? Totally great! The bass throbs and the guitar simply soars.
The Birke Maier Trio - Banzai Oranke
"Banzai Oranke" is an intriguing track. It uses the basic rhythm pattern established for Henry Manicini's "Banzai Pipeline," and adds a much darker melody line over the top. It's a solid and unnerving track that oozes danger. It's like those films where you know what's coming, but the character doesn't. Perhaps influenced by the Barracudas' cover, this is in many ways more like the Surfaris, just punkier. Slightly silly, slightly angular, and very fun. Very cool!
The Birke Maier Trio - Baja
This is a fine cover of "Baja," which is based on the Packards' arrangement from the eighties. While it's not original, it's a very enjoyable journey down classic surf lane.
The Orgaphonics - Hot Rod
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)
Wailing hot rods and dry muted double picked guitar over a jumpin' murky backtrack. Straddling surf and frat.
The Orgophonics - Sunset Rider
"Sunset Rider" is a lush island portrait with beautiful guitars and mysterious drums. It has a sense of a lost island viewed through fog. Beautiful, with sweeping imagery and emotion.
Pozor Vlak - Crazy Kruger
"Crazy Kruger" is a rhythmic track with a throbbing Leslie swirl. Kind of rockabilly, kind of surf, it's mono except for the swirl. Quite fun.
"Fresh" is a psycho-surf track with an eerie aural quality and surf guitar. If demented disturbed murderers suddenly appeared on that wave with you, they would be listening to this! Stunning!
The Razorblades - Longboard Queen
The guitar lines that open "Longboard Queen" simply sparkle with notions of infatuation. This is a true surf pean to the classic surf bunnies, with all the beauty and romantic visions that implies. This is a very lovely track.
The Razorblades - Headshaker
Whether nodding up and down or scanning left and right, this Slacktone-ish power trip is splendidly engaging and hard driven. Big and fast, as you might expect. Great energy and style.
Robert and the Roboters - Der Sonne Entegen
The ever-interesting Robert and the Roboters dabble in a relatively traditional surf sound with a holiday melody that employs a slightly sad edge. This is a very fine track that soothes and connects as only surf can.
Robert and the Roboters - Feuerland
Heavy rock chords and bluesy guitar lines groove with organ, bass and drums to deliver a small combo charmer. It's a little bit go-go and a little suave.
The Sidemen - The Persuaders
The The Sidemen's superb sound and writing are well suited for this spy meets the curl epic. This thoroughly engaging track is a marvelous blend of sounds, and features great rolling drums. Superb!
"Havanna" is slow and sad, with a haunted organ and great drums. The sound sets up an emotional rhythm and sense of a better day tomorrow. Quite pretty.
Surfpatrouille - Eskalator
Tribal drums and a Euro-style melody suggest spies and adventure. The glissandos and double picked second guitar add surf and Mediterranean panache. Big and loud.
Surfpatrouille - Slot Car Racer
A slow bluesy intro fades in, but then, from a stop, it launches into a monster Dick Dale-ish big guitar twang. Spectacular power and thick sound pump up double picked leads and dramatic arranging. Really cool!
Drivin' down the highway, running on empty, and looking for surf. "Motorhula" sports a fine ska beat and a fluid melody with a flavor of the Ray Beats. Quite a nice track.
This is a pretty nifty track. It is a slow and sad melody, with damped second guitar perfectly delivering up a great plodding rhythm in sync with the open notes of the lead guitar. This is curiously intriguing. There's not much melody, but the sound and playing are extra friendly. Very fine track. Whammy chord suave, great reverbed plunkin', and a magnetic and gloomy surf melody. Moody, fluid, and haunting. This is a relentless surf rhythm track, fit for a leisurely cruise down 101 between Pismo and SLO, with an eye on Avila Beach from the South. Really nice track. Simple and pleasing.
Leopold Kraus Wellenkapelle - Oh, My Dear
"Oh, My Dear" is just too fun! Bouncy and rich in joy, it features a totally infections rhythm guitar and playful melody. This superb track is an absolute must.