Monsters of Surf CD Review by Noel
Buy this record!
In a genre filled with great compilation albums of historic importance, and the best of current artists, this record stands firmly side-by-side with the very best. Monsters of Surf is an amazing, jaw-dropping record of music pushing at the contemporary edges of what it means to be surf music. This isn’t your father’s surf music, and I say that as someone who genuinely loves every note of music played and recorded by the founders of surf music, the artists who kept it alive and revived it, and the proponents of it today. This is that music on steroids, surfing hurricane-generated monster waves. This is powerful, extreme surf, head-banging, boundary-pushing, raucous, dangerous surf. I would never operate a motor vehicle listening to Monsters of Surf unless cruise control was firmly controlling the speed.
Featuring the music and songs of:
Arno De Cea And The Clockwork Wizards - Thalaris
This Machine Kills Robots - Old Man Summer
Pirato Ketchup - Kelly Johnson
The Biarritz Boys - Agent Graves
Terrorist Bengala Party - Pacific Trash Vortex
Necronomikids - A Mountain Climbed Or Stumbled
Threesome - Tellurion
Insect Surfers - Sea Scorpion
The Mystery Men? - The Uncanny Valley
Diablo Pussycats - Squareheads On The Move
The Dead Rocks - Almondega
The Mullet Monster Mafia - Sands Of Little England
El Fossil - Jamtasm
Stronzo Gelantino And The Boo-Men - Level 256
Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! - Satan's Invisible World… Revealed!
Surflamingo - Door to Hyperspace
Dave And The Pussies - Mower
Kill, Baby… Kill! - Duck And Cover
The Mutations - Once Upon A Time At The Beach
Daikaiju - Spiral Serpent Strike
Spaceguards - La Donna D'Oro
Beauty And The Liquidmen - Electric Battle Masterpiece
From the symphonic opening sounds of Thalaris by Arno De Cea And The Clockwork Wizards to the ending of Electric Battle Masterpiece by Beauty and the Liquidmen as the sound drifts off into silence, this album takes the listener on an amazing musical journey to sonic spaces that destroy conventional notions of what surf music is.
So how did this album come about? Santanu (the one in the mask... oh, wait) said, "Basically, the concept was to bring together a bunch of the heavier, fringier, more progressive surf bands. Of course, there are some nods to classic surf sounds in there as well. The excellent Brave New Surf compilation was definitely an inspiration. A number of bands on that collection would have been great candidates for this one, but I wanted this to be its own thing and put the spotlight on some of the more obscure bands out there. I chose some of the songs myself, but for the most part, the bands I approached picked their entries themselves. In a couple of instances ("Pacific Trash Vortex" and "Almondega") the bands went out of their way to record a song specifically for this compilation."
Do I have a favorite song? Every single one! If I finally decide one is it, when I hear the next song, I can’t choose between them. Can I pick out the best song? Every single one! There isn’t a weaker song or less than stellar song in the whole collection. And yet there is so much variety of style, texture, composition, sound and feel that repeat listening only serves to reveal more to hear.
As I keep listening to this record, my initial impression grows stronger; that this isn’t so much a collection of separate songs as it is a single composition assembled from the work of many great contributors. It’s almost a surf symphony with twenty-two short movements. I believe if a combined ensemble could be gathered together to perform every song on this album in a single concert, it would stand firmly among the greatest performances of all time. I’ll go further. The music altogether as it plays creates so many strong impressions, in this listener at least, emotional and visual, that I think it is worthy to be choreographed and danced as a modern ballet. I strongly believe it deserves to be and should be. As I listen I can literally see the ballet unfold in my mind!
This may very well turn out to be the single best surf music recording I’ve ever heard. It is that strong and evocative from beginning to end. And I also believe it belongs in any collection of great modern music in any genre. I keep thinking of one particular composer who revolutionized music in the Twentieth Century; somewhere, I think Stravinsky is smiling.
Congratulations to everyone involved! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
On DINGDONG Records
Artwork, Chris Ancarrow
Mastering, Brian Murphree
This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.
Last edited: Feb 24, 2014 15:47:21