SG101 logo
SG101 Banner

Photo of the Day

The Blue Demons
The Blue Demons

IRC Status
  • Chatroom is empty
Current Polls
  • No polls at this time. Check out our past polls.
Current Contests

Help us meet our monthly goal:


Donate Now

SurfGuitar101 News & Articles

Category: Reviews

The Killer Sounds of The Closeouts

I first became aware of Joe, aka norcalhodad, during the 2005 mp3 compilation during the Yahoo Group days. I received an mp3 along with an intriguing picture of a guy with a red Mosrite standing next to an Ewok (which I later learned was his daughter in a Halloween costume). I don't think Joe had posted to the group yet, so he was a complete unknown to me. The song was a cool lo-fi rockin' little party number called "Drink, Stomp, Twist". Since then, Joe has periodically sent me little mp3 demos, usually with a cool little photo. Joe also contributed the topics and Downloads icons for this site.

So I was really excited to receive a CD-R demo from Joe's band, The Closeouts. Now get this: Joe's band is actually just him. That's right, Joe plays all the instruments. Let me repeat that. Joe plays ALL the instruments: guitars, drums, bass, baritone guitar, keyboards, wacky sound effects, all of them.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

The Krontjong Devils: "Sizzling Sampan & Other Favorites!" EP

The Krontjong Devils: "Sizzling Sampan & Other Favorites!" EP
Double Crown Records, 1999 (DC4509) (

I was absolutely floored with this Krotjong Devils EP; these devils truly tear it up!

The Krontjong Devils are: Kees de Vries on guitar and organ, Hendrik Jan Horst also on guitar and organ, Gerhard Rinsma on bass, and Nico Plantenga on drums. These Devils hail from Groningen, Holland. The tunes for "Sizzling Sampan" were recorded in 1999, and released by Double Crown on gold vinyl.

The EP begins with "Sizzling Sampan", a tune that definitely lives up to its title. This tune is a spicy plate of pad thai served up in floating restaurant. High-energy guitar lines, driving drums, who could ask for anything more?

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

Impala: El Rancho Reverbo

Impala: "El Rancho Reverbo"
Icehouse Records, 1994 (

"El Rancho Reverbo" was the first release by Impala, back in 1994. So, obviously, this is not a "new release" by any means; however it is new to my CD player! Recorded in Memphis TN at Sam Phillips Studio, "El Rancho..."' does hearken back to the simpler times of twist, twang and reverb.

Impala features John Stivers on guitar; Scott Bomar on bass, Farfisa organ and guitar; Justin Thompson on tenor sax; and Jeff Goggans on drums. Additional players include Alex Green on Hammond organ and "Sunrise" on trumpet.

The CD kicks-off with the oh-too-short "El Rancho". This 31 second tidbit begs to be developed into a full-fledged theme suitible for the next Sergio Leone spaghetti-western episode. "El Rancho" whets the appetite, and leaves you thirsty for more, gringo.

The second cut, "Odalisque" is a stomping surf number full of drive and reverb. A catchy melody, rolling drums and a haunting tone makes this cut particularly memorable.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

The Surfacers

The Surfacers
Green Cookie (2003)

The Surfacers are a hard-driving surf-trio from Argentina. With Matais on guitars, Santiago on bass and Sebastian R. on drums, The Surfacers self-titled 2003 debut CD certainly made a tempestuous splash on the South American surf music scene. This disc literally drips with all the liquid power that the reverberation unit has to offer.

The Surfacers power-trio lineup produces Dick Dale-like energy levels: rumbling drums, fat bass tone, all topped off with the nimble glissando-and-tremolo-picked lead work of Matais' Stratocaster.
The disc begins with "The Russians", a high-energy power-ballad in the "Ghost Riders" vein. Multi-register melodies mingle with the crashing ride cymbal and driving bass work. Like that last rippin' wave at Trestles, it's all over way too soon.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

The Super Sónicos "Telekinesis"

The Super Sónicos "Telekinesis"
Koala Records (2003)

The Super Sónicos are an quasi-surf group that hails from Montevideo, Uruguay. Their CD "Telekinesis" explores an interesting inner world full of South American reverberation and spaced out synthesizer/organ licks. The influences found on "Telekinesis" range from Man or Astroman eclecticism, to Pixies odd-tempo-beautiful-discord, to a Violent Femmes-esque tribute to the enigmatic Chupacabra.

As a concept album, "Telekinesis" explores the inner realms of psycho-psychic-mind-bending-out-of-this-world-phenomenon: in other words, this CD is a Doors-like reverberated mind-adventure that explores beyond the "doors of perception". Although the album is in no way 100% pure instrumental surf, there are many interesting cuts that might engage the reverb-loving crowd. Tunes such as "Dr. Strangesurf", "Estela de Mar", "Pipemind", "Hypno 500", "Senorita Sueno", "Devil Delvy" and "Frecuencia Hawking" offer the instrumental enthusiast much to digest. "Frecuencia Hawking" (a Beach Boys-esque ode to the mind of Stephan Hawking) is hauntingly reverberated with eerie vocal harmonies and just a touch of that good old tremolo.

Other tracks, such as the vocal "Chupacabras", the experimental "Melodion" and the synth-driven "Sigue Sigue Spacek" offer a more Love Tractor-ish vibe. The vocal cuts are a Spang-lish combination of oddities that enhance the bizarro tone of the CD.

Overall, I found The Super Sónicos "Telekinesis" an interesting and enjoyable listen. If you are looking for something a little retro, something reverberated, something eclectic or something just plain bizarre and weird then give The Super Sónicos "Telekinesis" a spin.

You can visit The Super Sónicos at their website:

The Wet-Tones: Mucho Reverbo

The Wet-Tones: Mucho Reverbo (2004)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101, July 13, 2004)

A band I've been digging hugely for the last couple of months is Italy's the Wet-Tones. These guys get NO recognition in the USA, but their debut CD "Mucho Reverbo" is REALLY good! Not quite reaching the lofty heights of "Dumb Loud Hollow Twang", but definitely one of the best surf CDs I've heard this year.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

The Surf Coasters - "Live"

Shigeo Naka's long-running Surf Coasters called it quits recently, ending a stretch of ten years, a dozen or so full-length albums, almost as many EPs and singles, and countless unpredictable stylistic changes. Part of their appeal (to me, at least) was never really knowing where they were going to go over the course of an album. While ridiculously energetic and pumped surf was always their specialty (and the one thing they kept coming back to), jazz, punk, rockabilly, metal, funk, country and even techno were all possibilities, and all styles the band explored at some point or another. While the cast of supporting musicians around Shigeo changed many times, both the first and last line-ups lasted through several releases. This posthumous live album, released last month, fills the one hole that previously existed in their convoluted discography—a complete live document (well, not counting the DVD, I guess).

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

Los Kahunas: El fantastico sonido...

I just recieved a copy of Los Kahunas "El fantastico sonido Surf & Hot Rod de Los Kahunas" CD two days ago: it's been playing in the DaveJeep non-stop ever since! I am smitten by these reverb-drenched caballeros.

Los Kahunas is an Argentine four piece surf combo consisting of: Big Papu on "guitarra lida" (lead), Alexis B. on "tambores" (drums), Picky Carmoon on "bajo" (bass), and Antonio Carlos on "guitarra ritmica" (rhythm guitar). dressed in their trademark blue tuxedos, Los Kahunas provide the soundtrack for a long summer road trip in the trusty Plymouth Valiant non-stop down south to Tierra del Fuego.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

The Bambi Molesters: Dumb Loud Hollow Twang – Deluxe

The Bambi Molesters: Dumb Loud Hollow Twang – Deluxe (Dancing Bear 2003)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101, July 13, 2004)

1997's "Dumb Loud Hollow Twang" was the first release by the fantastic Croatian surf band the Bambi Molesters. I was lucky enough to get the original version of "DLHT" when it first came out, and enjoyed it through the years. It has since become a real rarity and a collector's item, especially once the BMs started being hailed as the best modern surf band in the world by European press, Croatian music industry, as well as REM (who have taken the band under their wing, giving them opening slots on their European tours, helping them produce the records, etc.). However, I always felt that the relatively poor recording quality of the original album masked the greatness of the songs. So I was very happy to find out that the band rerecorded the entire album in 2003. The new CD, though enjoyable, initially did not impress me much: the same songs, and at first listen they didn't sound THAT different. That was about a month ago. Since then that damn CD keeps finding its way into my player on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times! I've now come to realize that in fact the old recording DID hide one of the greatest surf albums of the last decade.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

Satan's Pilgrims: Plymouth Rock – Best Of

Satan's Pilgrims: Plymouth Rock – Best Of (MuSick 2004)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101 and Reverborama on April 12, 2005)

It's been more than a few months since this has come out and several other people have reviewed it by now, but I just thought I'd throw my two pennies in (judging solely by the length, it's more like 'my $20' – the value is probably still two pennies ). I've been digging the hell out of this CD and I can't recommend it enough for all the surf music fans out there. Plainly speaking, this is a MUST buy! The Pilgrims have in many ways defined the nineties surf scene, and they are probably the most influential nineties surf band today (a Danish surf band El Ray have even named themselves after an SP song, as well as actually copied the SP sound; the Nebulas have never been shy in voicing what SP mean to them; and I see the Pilgrims come up quite often in interviews with other newer surf bands). They were among the most prolific of the nineties surf bands, as well, breaking the 'two-CDs-and-no-more' curse that afflicted many others (the Fathoms, the Penetrators, the Space Cossacks, the Treble Spankers, the Huntington Cads, Husky & the Sandmen, the Eliminators, the Volcanos, etc.). Between '94 and '99 they released five full CDs, each one packed with many, MANY brilliant and inspired moments.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...