Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Infrareds S/T

First one by the one of the fastest playing surf bands ever. The writing is good and fairly original, and the playing is excellent. The biggest problem here is the mix, which buries the power of the guitar so it sounds more laid back than it should. They improved with their 2nd and 3rd releases – see archives – but this one is still very much worth having.

Track 10 is a 2fer -out at 4:50 on track 10 is a nice little chunker, after about 1:45 or so of silence. It's not melodic, but has a thundering relentless chunk about it and drives mercilessly at the core of storm surf on the rocks on a bad day. Good end to a good set.

1. Pico Blanco 2. Infraromp 3. Outskirts 4. Dead Heat 5. Squad Car 6. Umiac Mission 7. Red Spyglass 8. Exotic 9. Death to the Private Eyes 10. Covert & Stateless


The Beach Boys - Instrumental Hits

Here is EVERY instrumental track officially released by The Beach Boys (from Surfin' Sufari through 20/20), all neatly compiled on one album. As usual, the Japanese hold the standard for archival quality masters, but most fans already own all the tracks. For instrumental collectors and the uninitiated, however, this is a gem. Resonably well played covers of popular hits of the time with a few vocal hummmms ala Bboys, it’s a pleasant listen and cool for trivia. Excellent sound quality for it’s time.

1. Moon Dawg 2. Misirlou 3. Stoked 4. Honky Tonk 5. Surf Jam 6. Let's Go Trippin' 7. The Roking Surfer 8. Boogie Woodie 9. After The Game 10. Shut Down, Part II 11. Denny's Drums 12. Carl's Big Chance 13. Let's Go Trippin (Live) 14. Summer Means New Love 15. Let's Go Away For Awhile 16. Pet Sounds 17. Fall Breaks And Back To Winter (Woody Woodpeckers Symphany) 18. Passing By 19. Diamond Head 20. The Nearest Faraway Place

Tiki Taboo S/T

Tiki Taboo have a pretty traditional sound, but use a unique approach with their arrangements. In addition to the bass and drums, there are at least 3 guitars that work off each other very well and each guitar player seems to have their own style. There's a uniqueness to this band as well, with the guitarists having been involved in different bands and style of music makes for some unique guitar licks while keeping original melody. From the unmistakable opening Dick Dale staccato line of "Miserlou", to the closing strains of the Surfaris' "Wipeout", Tiki Taboo pretty much covers the big hits of surf music's heyday (or ho-dad). Also included in deluxe surf-a-sonic stereo are six originals. "Fortune Cookie" is a sneaky little thing complete with gong and a familiar faux-Chinese motif, and "Peking Duck" quacks along with a Chuck Berry-inspired shuffle. "Shark Bait" is the most aggressive rock song on the album (with a little Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" quote thrown in for good measure). Decent trad surf with a more laid back flow.

1 Miserlou 2 Penetration 3 Surf Rider 4 Out Of Limits 5 Black Sand Beach 6 Endless Summer 7 Bumble Bee Twist 8 Bulldog 9 Rockin' The Cradle 10 Apache11 Fortune Cookie 12 Walk, Don't Run 13 Repent14 China Wall15 Pipeline16 Peking Duck 17 Shark Bait18 Diamond Head19 Wipeout


Swingin Singles Orchestra - Music For a 90's Bachelor Pad

90's my ass. More like 70's. Smarmy, synth psuedo porn soundtrack intsros, for serious cheese collectors only, ok for background - inspired by Dr. Forrest's Cheese Factory

1. Salome 2. Nosfaurato 3. Je T'Aime (Mon Non Plus) 4. Intertia 5. Welcome to You 6. Enchanted Love Affair 7. Reminisce 8. Fortress of Fables 9. Summer Place 10. Dreams 11. Timeless Kiss 12. Oxygen 13. Smoothin' 14. Salome (Finale)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Husky and the Sandmen - Arabian Nights

Helsinki's Husky and the Sandmen are a four piece with lead guitar, organ, bass and drums. They have a unique sound blending the Euro thing with the Ventures. An adventurous band making excellent surf instrumentals in a modern trad vein. Lots of the tracks here stay with you after listening. Get their other set Ridin' The Wild Surf and some excellent info on the band from our buddy Brandonio over here at RockIsDead R.I.P. You can thank me later. Enjoy.

Arabian Nights, Stargate, Four Stroke Stomp, Malibu Run, Sands Of Redondo, Suki Yaki Stomp, Surfin' Mosquito, Cross Ties, Tube Surfer, Batcave, Big Cyclone, Hot Line, Contact Breaker, Lonely Wave


Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Real Live Remaster

Though shamefully neglected by rock history, this Frank Marino live performance will remind all who remembers Marino and his band Mahogany Rush just how wonderful a musician the man was and still is. With elements of the blues, jazz, middle eastern influences and pop music recorded as if it were intended for release in the late sixties., this is by far one of the best live performances I’ve heard in a long time. Stellar playing, long muscial improvs that make sense and almost NO vocals (yea!!!) and now you have the perfect recipe for one helluva guitar blowout! I first heard the track "Poppy" on XM radio last week and knew right then I had to have this. What I did not expect was over 2 hours of prog rock/blues/jazz perfection from a band I had only barely heard of before. My bad. I can say that this "work of art" is one very rare live collection. Definitely a keeper! I like this one better than the classic Mahogany Rush Double Live because DL has WAY TOO MANY distracting vocals and some boring noodling in the audience particiption cuts. Both are excellent - this one is better.

1. Voodoo Chile 2. ...Something's Comin' Our Way (Excerpt) 3. He's Calling 4. Red House 5. Guitar Prelude to a Hero 6. ...Stories of a Hero 7. Poppy 8. ...She's Not There 9. ...Crossroads 10. ...She's Not There (Return) 11. ...Poppy (Return)

fmmr d1p1


1. Let There Be 2. ...Strange Universe 3. ...Ode to Creation 4. ...Strange Universe 5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 6. ...Ain't Dead Yet 7. ...Slippin' and Slidin' 8. ...Back to the Hall 9. ...Two 'N' Four (Just Joshin') 10. Avalon 11. ...Rumble 'N' Roll (For Pete's Sake) 12. ...Jazzed a Moment 13. ...Tales of the Unexpected 14. ...Return to Avalon 15. Rattle of Sabres 16. Electric Reflections of War 17. ...Aftermath 18. ...the World Anthem 19. ...A Prayer for Peace 20. Over the Rainbow 21. Try for Freedom

fmmr d2p1


Mojo Presents – Hail to The King

Nice ass’t trib of songs Elvis sung, even a cut by Link Wray for Brandonio.

1. the jeff beck group - all shook up 2. duffy power - 0 lawdy miss clawdy (1964) 3. betty everett - hound dog 4. albert king - that's all right 5. little richard - money honey 6. rockin rebels - let's play house 7. johnny cash - i forgot to remember to forget 8. link wray - love me tender 9. roy orbison - trying to get to you 10. chris clark - in the ghetto 11. el vez - it's now or never 12. jerry lee lewis - don't be cruel 13. the flamin groovies - milkcow blues 14. dean carter - jailhouse rock 15. dead kennedys - via las Vegas


Mojo- James Brown’s Funky Summer

We have a number of classic JB recordings, some of which were released under James Brown's own name, some of which featured artists that he championed or has worked with over the years. Also included in this collection are a couple of tracks by acts that influenced the great man himself, namely Roy Brown and The 5 Royales ...." The other tracks are: Funky Women by Maceo And All The King's Men; If You Don't Give Me What I Want (I Gonna Get It Some Other Place) by Vicki Anderson (according to Nrown, the best female vocalist he ever had in his renowened Revue); You Can't Love Me If You Don't Respect Me by Lyn Collins (the uncharted flip of her 1974 hit Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again); Between Two Sheets by Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns; What So Never The Dance by Bootsy Collins; I Know You Got Soul by Bobby Byrd (a # 30 R&B and # 117 Hot 100 "Bubble Under" in July 1971); What A Good Man He Is by Tammi Terrell; Please Please Please by The Soul Survivors; Cold Sweat by Albert King (which had been the uncharted B-side of his 1971 hit Can't You See What You're Doing To Me?); Love Don't Love Nobody by Roy Brown & His Mighty-Mighty Men (a # 2 R&B in the fall of 1950); Tell The Truth by The "5" Royales; and Antenna by Braille. The sound quality is excellent. A decent mix of funky stuff.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Big Ray and the Futuras S/T

First CD from this Massachusetts trio. The arranging is generally solid enough to cover for the lack of a second guitar. This is a decent mix for a first time out. There are some really bright spots, and some pedestrian and less interesting spots. Some tracks suffer from a lack of melody, while others are quite good. The overall feel is surf, with a touch o sci-fi. The thing is, the good tracks are quite good, and the so-so tracks are not bad, just not very interesting. Tracks 10 through 13 were recorded live (soundboard, most likely), and suffer from the house sound guy blues (too much kick drum, too little music), though they are better than many I've heard as of late. Very nice and hard to get. Enjoy.

Hot Rod, Entra Venus, Low Tide, Lug Nut, Surf Hammer, Life On Mars, Ranchero, The Slam, Area 51, Secret Agent Man, Mr. Moto, Life On Mars, Vengeance


Mount Mckinleys – The Incredible Sounds of ….

The garage rock quartet the Mount McKinleys hail from Pittsburgh, the group has a thing for horn-driven instrumental sections and retro-psychedelic detours. Fun stuff.

1.Steel Shoe 2.Got Nothing 3.Upside Down 4.Reattach Your Head 5.Cake Eater 6.Off My Trip 7.Jim Brown (aka Slaughter) 8.Nemo 9.Drivin’ Me Insane 10.1000 Miles From Your Planet Earth 11.Men In Black 12.…If Captured 13.Leave It Behind 14.Hindenburg One 15.Yeah Yr Wrong 16.The Bends


Pell Mell – Interstate

An earthy, refreshingly straightahead U.S. answer to Britain's Durutti Column, this quartet serves up a dozen guitar-based alternative rock instrumentals on its Geffen debut. With organ, piano, and guitar trading lead roles, "Nothing Lies Still for Long," "Anna Karina," and "Vegetable Kingdom" (the lone track with a vocal, albeit a backwards one) are entrancing. Pell Mell are one of the great instrumental groups... They craft exquisitely beautiful, at times tears-inducing, melodic/rhythmic instrumental pieces. What sets Pell Mell apart from the post rock drone clones is that each individual has an incredibly strong instrumental "voice" that comes through on every recording. This is not a "jam band", but 4 like minds who somehow cohere around these fragile, spare, then driving and powerful, mini-masterpieces. This thing stands as a compelling statement of guitarology, a true-blue andidote to everything Britney. Like a bolt/jolt of central-cortex crack, this CD never fails. Just try to throw it our your car window. Can't be done.

1. Nothing Lies Still Long 2. Revival 3. Anna Karina 4. Saucer 5. Pound Cake 6. Constellation 7. Blacktop 8. Butterfly Effect 9. Drift 10. Vegetable Kingdom 11. Ether 12. Floating Gate


Trans Am – Sex Change

Trans Am has always been a predominantly instrumental band that plays ironic sounds unironically. They're a perfect example of a modern "cult" band; they have a large following and make most of their money touring, existing largely outside the weblog-and-myspace-driven word of mouth which propels most indie-label, rock-based music these days. Change was recorded in Auckland, New Zealand at a recording school with equipment on loan by the brilliant Chris Knox, then later in Brooklyn at Oneida's headquarters without their usual array of vocoders or any of their regular gear. Easily their best album since 2000's Red Line, Sex Change is typically eclectic but pushes their sound further towards '70s stadium prog, keyboard-driven Krautrock, shredding '80s rock, John Carpenter soundtracks from the late 1970s, super clean and mellow funk-rock, and whatever you call the kind of music they play behind sports play-by-plays. Good listen and moderately challenging.

1. First Words 2. North East Rising Sun 3. Obscene Strategies 4. Conspracy Of The Gods 5. Exit Management Solution 6. Climbing Up The Ladder (Parts III And IV) 7. 4,738 Regrets 8. Reprieve 9. Tesco v. Sainsbury's 10. Shining Path 11. Triangular Pyramid


Friday, May 8, 2009

Calvin Cool and the Surf Knobs – The Surfer’s Beat

Been neglecting my lounge buds recently so I thought I'd make it up with this offering of loungeriffic goodies. Calvin Cool is a pleasant surprize - thought it was cheezy frat surf at first - instead it is excellent groove. From 1963. Very fun lounge oriented beat style surfy instros. Sax and organ are the leads, guitar is background only. Way cool and groovy.

Surf City 2. Hang Ten 3. Surfin' U.S.A. 4. Foghorn 5. Beach Bash 6. Cannon Ball Wipeout 7. Surfer's Beat 8. South Bay 9. Pipeline 10. Surf Bunnies 11. Tecolote 12. Way to Do It


Hammond - The Golden Age of the Hammond Organ 1944-1956

This collection is a fine example of the very first Hammond Organ recordings, back at the 40ies or so. The style on many of the tracks is the fundamental melody/chords/pedal, yet still played with gusto and skill by some of the superstars of the day – Ethel Smith, ken Griffin and Lenny Dee. The sound quality is acceptable for these early recordings. Really fun for those who remember skating rinks.

The Galloping Comedians - Ethel Smith 2. Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Medley: Isnt This A Lovely Day / Cheek To Cheek - Wilbur Kentwell (organ) 3. Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Medley: Top Hat, White Tie And Tails / Let Yourself Go / Lets Face The Music 4. Tico-Tico - Ethel Smith & The Bando Carioca 5. Blues In The Night - Harry Farmer (as Chris Hamalton) 6. Dizzy Fingers - Chris Hamalton & His Hammond Organs 7. Herthquake Boogie - Milt Herth & His Trio 8. Twelfth Street Rag (Boogie-woogie) - Milt Herth & His Trio 9. Dinora (Samba) - Ethel Smith & The Bando Carioca 10. The Harry Lime Theme Ethel Smith 11. Monkey On A String Ethel Smith 12. The Velvet Glove - Robin Richmond (At the Electric Organ & Clavioline) 13. Theme from the film Time Of His Life - Robin Richmond (At The Hammond Organ) 14. Some Like It Hot - Robin Richmond (At The Hammond Organ) 15. Plantation Boogie Lenny Dee 16. Birth Of The Blues Lenny Dee 17. Ferryboat Serenade - Ken Griffin 18. There Are Dreams In Your Eyes When We Dance Barry Snow 19. April In Portugal Ethel Smith 20. Kitchen Rag - Harry Farmer (as Chris Hamalton & His Hammond Organs) 21. Tunes Of The Times: Here In My Heart / Somewhere Along The Way / Half As Much Harry Farmer 22. Answer Me Harry Farmer 23. Cruising Down The River Ken Griffin 24. Yours - Ken Griffin 25. Peg Leg - Harry Farmer (as Chris Hamalton & His Hammond Organs) 26. Love Is Just Around The Corner - The Harry Farmer Rhythm Ensemble 27. The Syncopated Clock Ken Griffin 28. Till I Waltz Again With You Ken Griffin



Salsa Explosion -VA

Serious salsa from the Fania label. Guaranteed to get you boogyin’. Fania is considered the best name in salsa and they have their own compilations, but this one from Starbucks is a good place to start!

Willie Colon-Che Che Cole 2. Hector Lavoe-El Todopoderosa 3. Mongo Santamaria-O Mi Shango 4. Tito Puente & Celia Cruz-Pachito Eche 5. Joe Cuba-Tu Lo Sientes 6. Celia & Johnny-Cucala 7. Fania All stars-Mama Guela 8. Ralfi Pagan-Brother Where Are You 9. Eddie Palmieri-Bilongo 10. Tito Puente & Aruguita-Guaguanco Arsenio 11. La Sonora Poncena-Bomba Carambomba 12. Ray Barretto-El Nuevo Barretto 13. Louie Ramirez-Ahora Es El Tiempo 14. Rafi Val & La Differente-A Mi Nena 15. Willie Colon & Hector-Todo Tiene Su Final.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Surf Report - Lavarocksreverb and BONUS

Wow! Surf Report has passed into a new phase of intense powerfully driven eat-sand grinder surf. Given the 4 track cassette multi-tracking, this is an amazingly solid document. Their music has evolved (or devolved?) into a post metal mayhem of Uli Roth and Black Sabbath surf with Agent Orange underpinnings. It's a brutal combination, with no remnants of their trad surf roots remaining in this release. If you're looking for trad surf, you'll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you're willing to take a death metal ride on huge outsiders, this will knock your baggies off. Phil Dirt gives it 4 stars. What Phil does not talk about are the hidden bonus tracks – 2 FULL live performances of the group in ’98.

Here at FCCL we give you the best – so they were extracted and here they are. I don’t know the track names – sorry – and I don’t think you all will care especially, since you are getting almost 2 ½ hours of killer surf and twang – even if the bonus stuff is at a low bit rate. Good is good no matter what – so enjoy.

LavaRock Reverb - trax 320

Pencil Fight, Exotic, Catalina, A-Salam-Aliekum, Heptane, Crush The Infidel, Chain Smoker, Knuckle Sandwich, Hazel, Fishtail, Disposable Heroes / Frostbite


Bonus - Live at Belly Up 98


Bonus - Live at Tiki House 98


Surf and Drag V1

Now for something older -- Sundazed's 1989 compilation was an early CD entry into the archaeology of West Coast surf music. Beneath the better known (and anthologized) instrumentals, Sundazed dug into the car and surf tunes of Gary Usher, along with a few rare tracks from well-known acts, and a few obscurities. The resulting disc doesn't have the consistent hit quality of typical surf collections, nor the breadth of sets like Rhino's early-80s "History of Surf" or 1996 4-CD "Cowabunga," yet in venturing beyond the well-known tunes, these tracks provide important elaboration on the SoCal surf and drag scene.

Writer/producer Usher is most popularly recognized for his songwriting collaborations with Brian Wilson (including "In My Room," "409," "Sacramento," and "Let's Go to Heaven in My Car"), but he's also the mastermind behind numerous songs recorded under band names such as The Four Speeds and Super Stocks. It's these latter sides that are the focus here.

Usher's tracks are divided into work-for-hire and personal productions. The former is represented by three frightening tracks waxed by nightclub singer Don Brandon. Even with Usher's fine production (and the cream of L.A.'s session players -- many of whom backed Jan & Dean's hits!), Brandon's vocals sink these tracks faster than a gremmie wiping out on his first big wave. Their so-bad-their-good irony provide an inviting look at the surf bandwagon in motion.

Usher's own productions include The Four Speeds' oddly homoerotic imagery of "Four on the Floor," the car-lingo filled "Cheater Slicks," and an ode to the Dennis Wilson's dream car, "My Sting Ray." The Four Speeds' car-slang filled "RPM" sports an organ solo played on the same instrument featured on the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA"! Under his own name Usher produced "Power Shift" and "Mag Wheels" (the latter covered by no less than Dick Dale), filled with catchy tic-tac guitar (as opposed to slashing reverb-filled surf lines) and unusual (for surf/drag music) piano and organ breaks.

Many of Usher's songs, though more tightly produced and filled with authentic slang, sound as if they were lifted from AIP beach party films. In fact, Donna Loren's "Muscle Bustle" was featured in the film, "Muscle Beach Party." Usher's fine production helps divert the listener's attention from the insipid (even by AIP soundtrack standards) lyrics.

Among the non-Usher tracks, Gene Moles' "Burnin' Rubber," and a pair of tracks from The Royal Coachmen" are welcome additions to the SoCal early-60s surf/car-rock catalog. Oddities on this volume include a pre-"Lies" track from New York's Knickerbockers (a toothless follow-up to the Rip Chords' "Hey Little Cobra" entitled "Bite Bite Barracuda," presented in two different versions!), and a post-"Tequila" instrumental from the champs entitled "Twenty Thousand Leagues." The latter features guitar that's reminiscent of Link Wray and Duane Eddy, and Las Vegas Grind styled sax. Jan and Dean's pre-surf "Midsummer Nights Dream," recorded for Challenge, features a clarinet lead (!) and a less-than-soaring vocal.

Sound quality is top-notch, with a big helping of first-ever stereo mixes from the original 3-track masters. Not the place to start a surf collection, but certainly a good way to expand one.

1. Burnin' Rubber - Gene Moles 2. Swim - Don Brandon 3. Loophole - The Royal Coachmen 4. Bite Bite Barracuda - The Knickerbockers 5. Rendezvous Stomp - Rhythm Rockers 6. Four on the Floor - Four Speeds 7. Cheater Slicks - Four Speeds 8. Midsummer Night's Dream - Jan & Dean 9. Twin Pipes - Gene Moles 10. Barefoot Adventure - Four Speeds 11. Twenty-Thousand Leagues - The Champs 12. Ballad of Bonneville - Don Brandon 13. Repeating - The Royal Coachmen 14. Mighty Mighty Barracuda - The Knickerbockers 15. Power Shift - Gary Usher 16. Mag Wheels - Gary Usher 17. Muscle Bustle - Donna Loren 18. My Sting Ray - Four Speeds 19. RPM - Four Speeds 20. Party Last Night - Don Brandon


Surf and Drag V2

Featuring more rare tracks from the second tier of surf and hot-rod performers, this volume is no less potent than the first. Highlights include the original version of "She Rides With Me" by Paul Petersen, "Bustin' Surfboards" by the Tornadoes, and "GeeTO Tiger" by the Tigers. Some interesting cuts are: "She Rides With Me", sung by Paul Petersen (from the Donna Reed Show), with the Beach Boys playing backup (!). Another good one is "Let's Go Where the Action Is" by Tommy Boyce (from the songwriting duo Boyce and Hart who wrote a lot of the hits later on for the Monkees). But there are some other rare gems here too that you will like. Couple of great songs by the Tornadoes (you should get their greatest hits in the archives -- as well, it rocks!), the Shutdowns, and the customs (featuring early surfing music legend Gary Usher.)

1. Four in the Floor - The Shutdowns 2. Bustin' Surfboards - The Tornadoes 3. Skateboard - Sidewalk Surfers 4. Go Go G.T.O. - Carol & Cheryl 5. I Gotta Drive - The Matadors 6. She Rides With Me - Paul Peterson 7. Beach Buggy - The Shutdowns 8. Hit the Surf - Sea Shells 9. Come on Let Yourself Go (Pt. 1) - The Matadors 10. remmie - The Tornadoes 11. GeeTO Tiger - Tigers 12. She Ain't a Yacht - Cabin Crew
13. Nifty '50 - Customs, Gary Usher 14. Surfin' Hearse - The Quads 15. Hot Rod City - Customs, Gary Usher 16. '54 Corvette - Customs, Gary Usher 17. Let's Go Where the Action Is - Tommy Boyce 18. Surfer's Life19. Phantom Surfer - The Tornadoes 20. Fun Last Summer - Sidewalk Surfers


Surf Guitar Villains – Cadillac Smile

Surf Guitar Villains are a Portland Oregon based recording and performing collective. The Villain sound is 60's and demented, with some rough edges left in to escape the cold exactness of the digital new frontier. The Villains are not local guitar heroes, nor masters of grunge or rap, instead the Villains make original post-modern music, as they do not have the patience to learn and play anyone else's. The name, is a play on words, 'Surf' refers to the more Strat laden bright Ventures sound that pops out from tune to tune.

This is not surf at all in the traditional sense. With Dire Straits low key vocals and easy, laid back loping song structures – this is more for a lazy afternoon than riding the tube. Nice diversion for something a little different.

1 The Road Back 2 Life on a Napkin 3 Laura's Song 4 Sultans of Surf 5 Barcelona6 Is it Really Us? 7 200 Miles From Nowhere 8 Cadillac Smile 9 Garage Jam #2

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