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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink The CRUNCHER ´X ´ (ten) is released

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In May 2020 I received a phone call from Herbert „The Cruncher“ Hooke
telling me that he had many tunes recorded for his next cd release, his tenth
(frankly so far there are 2 Vinyl LPs, 7 cds) called X.
He did also send to me a cdr with 25 tracks (which I got on May 16th) and asked me to choose 20 songs which should get onto the cd, which I did. Two of his own compositions were only called composition 1, composition 2 and he asked for title suggestions. The third one he had decided to call „Covid 20“, later changed into „Covid Crackdown“!
I told him that I consider the release to be a survey of the sounds he had devoloped from his first release in 1987 („go surfin´ with THE CRUNCHER) to his latest cd „AAD“ from 2020.
Furthermore we both agreed that he himself should write the liner notes for this special cd release.
In October he did ask me if I would like to write a foreword, when I agreed, he told me however to keep it short, as he has only 4 pages for the booklet.
He also informed me that he has decided to put 25 songs on the cd instead of the 20 tunes he normally releases on one cd. Furthermore he will put all of his three new self written compositions on it.
In August and October 2020 and on January 3rd, 2021 I did receive additional cdr´s with more changes in the arrangements or guitar sounds. As the manufactorer was in winter holidays until January 11th, Herbert could send the master CD and informations for the booklet (which in the meantime had rosen to 12 pages) only after that date. On January 27 the cds were produced, packaged and mailed to Herbert. So here it is, 25 songs, 61 minutes and 20 seconds minutes playing time, 12 pages booklet!
It costs only as much as the previous releases (though the costs for more songs and more pages were higher than for the previous ones – gratefully Herbert payed these from his own wallet!)
Cover and tracks uploaded below.
The Beach Boys sang 1970 on their Sunflower album:
„music when you´re alone,
is like a companion for your lonely soul,
so add some music to your day“.
Here are for your listening pleasure in these hard times of distancing and self isolation „25 more companions“ which will be available from Herbert himself (,
Bear Family Records in Germany and Leo´s Den Music in England.


Last edited: Feb 02, 2021 08:02:21

Review of the cd from Dave Burke, co-editor of the Pipeline Magazin.
Permssion to use this given by Alan Taylor, the other co-editor.
As you can probably guess from the above title this is The Cruncher's tenth album and over the years he has established a rock solid reputation for releasing the most authentic sounding vintige rock instrumentals. Even more remarkable is that he plays all of the instruments, produces the material, and also manages to achieve a convincing sound for brass instruments using just synths and computers. The the opening You Are My Sunshine. This is a faithful version of Johnny & The Hurricanes' arrangement of the song which appeared on The Big Sound Of album which featured brass and strings. Now I'm not saying that you cannot tell that the pumping trumpets and trombones that you hear are not the real thing when you listen closely you hear are not the real thing when you listen closely on headpbones, but on a casual loudspeaker listen you could easily be forgiven for thinking that they were. It's not just that, he has also got the organ sound just right and I would almost swear it was Dave Yorko playing that exciting sounding guitar. So hey, Herbert' how about doing a full album of Johnny & The Hurricanes sound-alikes for us starved Hurricanados - not just re-creating the hits, but doing tunes they never attempted as they might have done them if they had? Even if I say so myself, that's a blast of an ideal Herbert Hooke's real speciality is re-creating the authextic surf sound which he does time after time on this splendid CD. Hot Doggin', Midnight Run and Failsafe are all handled with absolute aplomb, and it's not just the sound he captures so expertly but also the feel of these surf classics. Not that it is all surf, we also have great versions of The Wailer´s Road Runner, which includes a jazzy sax solo, and Mel Torme's Comin' Home Baby which is organ-led and features jazzy guitar licks a-plenty. There's a Duane Eddy twangy guitar style workout on Swashbuckle as well as touch of Peler Gunn-like dramatics on Herbert's own Powerhouse Covid Crackdown. Martin Cilia's End Of Summer has a deep six-string bass sound, Santo & Johnny's Slave Girl has a brisk rolling Latin flavour and Begin The Beguine features a more languid Iatin feel until extra percussion shows up and adds another dimension to CoIe Porter´s tune. There's more great rock & roll guitar in Herbert´s version of Jerry & The Nighttrains' obscure-ish Scramble and The Woodchucks' (L,ee Hazlewood) recently unearthed ponderous instro titled Johnny October which comes complete with Mexican-style trumpets. Another of Herbert's own compositions is The Girls On The Beach which has a great atmosphere with its poignant sounding lead guitar set against a throbbing background beat that somehow seems to mix surf and space together. It's another knockout from Herbert and no lover ol surf and rock guitar could possibly go wrong with this CD. Dave Burke
(Herbert Hooke, Eduard-Rüber-Strasse 6, 86609 Donauwörth, Germany,

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