Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Surfer's Mood Vol. IV
|This is the final volume of this from-vinyl bootleg series. Some nice tracks, some moody coolness, and a couple of turkeys. The 18th track listed on the sleeve is Jerry and the Catalinas' "Away From It All," but alas it does not appear on the album. Only eight tracks on side two.|
Picks: The Cassanova, Fallout, Moonbeat, The Gladiator, Warm Is The Sun, Twilight City, The Moon Of Manakoora, In The Beginning, Summertime, Andromeda, Surfers Lullaby, Mr. Miff, Pa Cha, Moon Maid, Strange Worlds, Sea Of Tranquility, Space Walk
Track by Track Review
Surf Luau Sax (Instrumental)
Exotic percussion and suave sax a la Dave Myers and the Surftones in the groovy luau surf style, with a liquid sensuality and a simple but effective riff. Very cool.
August 1961 was the release date for this single. It is more surfy that the Ventures, though certainly influenced by them. Considering it was released the same month as Dick Dale's "Let's Go Trippin'," it's quite surfy and perfectly poised to help define that transitional period between the Belairs' Mr. Moto" and "Miserlou." This pre-surf watery tune was cut by a Texas band, and licensed out by Kim Fowley. It's quite fluid, and Spanish influenced, with Fireballs style damped plucking as well as whammy and round full guitar tone. This track was issued recently on a Kim Fowley comp called "Kim Fowley - Under Ground Animal" from cleaner sources.
Less surfy and more Spanish than "Fallout," this is nonetheless a solid and enjoyable guitar instro of serious merit. Lots of country influences too. This track was issued recently on a Kim Fowley comp called "Kim Fowley - Under Ground Animal" from cleaner sources.
Roman Surf (Instrumental)
Exotic percussion that reminds me of Roy Orbison's "Leah" opens to a moody melody line played on what sounds like a melodica over crowds cheering as the gladiator games go forth. The mariachi horn lines are very similar to the melody of "Matelot."
This is an amazing single. The guitar is surfy, but the organ carries the lead melody. It's got the sparkle of the Tornados and the feel of the surf. There aren't many surf instros with organ that work well for me, but this one surely does. "Warm Is The Sun" is a classic song, and Bruno and the Gladiators take it to new heights, with infectious power and exhilarating energy.
A cool rolling rhythm track with a so-so melody line well played. No where near as nasty as some of their work, and quite commercial sounding.
This is a very pretty surf tune originally from Roy Smeck's soundtrack to Adventures In Paradise. He was very effective at writing just the right Polynesian stereotypes into his island jewels. "The Moon Of Manakoora" is a splendid song, and in a pretty darn surfy format, it's even better! Melodic, smooth, romantic, and a little mysterious.
Soft silky guitar over exotic percussion and moody sub-tiki scenery. Close to MOR, yet within the rock window in an almost Shadows vein.
The slow dance stroll under behind the weirdness of the "Midnight Stroll" guitar torture just adds to the plaintiff cry of the haunted sax. George Gershwin's "Summertime" never sounded so sad! On the primitive side, but very sensual.
While "Andromeda" relies on tape echo delay instead of reverb, and the backtrack is light weight, the chords and the island feel are definitely tropical surf. I don't know who these guys were, but this is a very cool track, except for the crappy ooh-ooh chorus.
This is a beautiful surf instro, with gentle waves, and a very simple but effective melody, played pristinely on the high-E. It is completely infectious, and remains on my fave list after many decades. The Titans were from Duluth, Minnesota, where they held sway over the throngs in the mid sixties. This was recorded in 1964.
Long sad vibrato chords bring forth a cool and moody melody played with lots of vibrato and reverb. "Mr. Miff" is a slowish song with a lot of charm. The slow playing out of the notes in the chords adds a real sense of romance to this song. This was a b-side.
MOR Surf (Instrumental)
This is one commercial guitar instro, with some surf sensibilities, and a definite poppy sound. It's really not a surf instro, more MOR than rock, yet quite credible, except for the plinky keys, which are kinda like a cowboy minuet.
A cool damped pluck opening launches into a slightly grumpy chord progression based number with an almost sci-fi theme. "Moon Maid" is pretty cool, but perhaps a little undeveloped. Quite a nice find.
Strange sci-fi days are beckoned as "Strange Worlds" opens. This guitar instro is a ways from the surf, yet hints at the genre. The sound reminds me of some of the tracks on the Sons Of Yma compilation. Moody and mysterious, and attractive in a strange way. The echoed drums are quite unusual.
MOR Surf (Instrumental)
The backtrack here is like something outta the late fifties, but the guitar is more or less surf. Kinda MOR poppy, yet attractive and credible as a surf number. Most unusual!
This single is from a San Francisco band, and is not even close to being a surf single. It's organ-centric, and like a slow eerie "Telstar" inversion. Very cool, but quite free of the waves.