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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.

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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:

SG101 Yahoo Group Now For Announcements Only

Today was the last day for the old SG101 Yahoo Group. I've turned it into an announcements-only style group. Please check it for announcements from me in case something catastrophic happens with the new site (here).

The SG101 Yahoo Group was founded on Oct. 31, 2001, and it was a lot of fun, so today is a little sad. However, I'd like to think this new site is the next logical step for growth. I would like to thank all the members, past and present, for making it what it was, and for making this new site possible.

I know some people liked the email features of the Yahoo Group. I can't offer that (yet?), but I do have RSS feeds available for both the forums and the stories that appear here on the front page. I will make an announcement a bit later about these features. Meanwhile, please contact me via the Feedback link or send me a PM if you are interested in testing the RSS feeds.

I do have most of the messages from the Yahoo Group saved. I will be compiling them into some kind of database in the near future. Meanwhile, members can still search the archives at the old Yahoo Group site (as painful as that is).

Let's hope this new format is even more successful than the last! Thanks, everyone!


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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amp Review: Fender Super Sonic & Kustom Coupe 72

Hello Folks!

As promised, here's my review of the Fender Super Sonic. I also checked out the new Kustom Coupe 72, as I was interested in that one also. Before I begin, here's the disclaimer:

Everybody's ears are different. (I have Spock-like ears, but I have long hair that covers them ) So what sounds good to me might not sound great to you. Just keep that in mind as you read on...

First up: The Super Sonic!

I went into the local music store with the direct intention of checking this amp out, and to probably buy it. I've been using a vintage Twin Reverb for years, but she's gettin old, and the repair costs are getting a little high. Plus she can't handle the rigors of the road like she used to. So, I had plenty of time, and didn't rush anything. I took 4 guitars: DiPinto Galaxie, '62 Strat, Reissue Jag and a Dano Hodad. And awaaaaay we go!

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The Atomic Mosquitos: "Release The Mosquitos!"

The Atomic Mosquitos: "Release The Mosquitos!" (2005)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101 and Reverborama on July 25, 2005)

I've recently gotten the sophomore album by the Atomic Mosquitos, "Release The Mosquitos!", and wow, it's great! The Atomic Mosquitos are from Frederick, Maryland (outside of Washington, DC), and I've known their drummer Craig Stang for many years now. He even filled in on drums for Doug of the Space Cossacks on several occasions. I'm so happy to see that Craig is not only still playing surf music, but that he's got one hell of a band!

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