Agony Shorthand

Monday, October 11, 2004

60s instrumental surf music is a micro-genre within the macro-genre of raw garage-based rock and roll, and one that, unless you're an aficionado, you probably only need to skim the best of the best of. I've heard a bunch of surf compilations over the years, but none that hits it as hard & as aggressively as this excellent collection does. "DIGGIN' OUT" is a compilation LP bootleg that I used to see around all the time but only just recently procured -- I'd have to say that it's the "Back From The Grave" of its class -- just full-bore hissing & crackling instrumentals packed with incredible doses of reverb and fuzz. Start to finish, it's one action-packed monster after another, from The ILLUSIONS' take on "Jezebel" to an incredible "Riptide" by the CHEVELS to one of the most angry, uptempo surf tunes I've ever heard, "Gutterball" by the GOLDTONES. Wow. These make the holy triumverate of Wipeout/Miserlou/Pipeline sound like cruddy two-track bar band basement tapes, and pour a sizzling fryer's worth of hot oil into the whitecaps. Going from memory only here, I think the surf compilation CD "Get a Board!" tacked on a bunch of these tracks at the end, but I might be thinking of something else and need to do a little more in-store research. In the meantime, this isn't your momma's surf rock & is a comp to really juice up your stick, if you know what I'm saying.