Heavy Surf

Heavy Surf

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The 25-track, 20-artist compilation Heavy Surf delivers just what its title promises: 76 minutes' worth of shredding surf guitar action buttressed with punky rhythm sections and sardonic humor. (Imagine the Cure's "Killing An Arab" done up as a Dick Dale-style piece of surf-exotica, complete with samples of Arabic chanting!) A few familiar names crop up, including the '60s legends Davie Allan and the Arrows, whose "Six-String Highway" and "Fast and Loose" are excellent examples of Allan's proto-metal taste for treble and distortion, and Washington D.C.'s Insect Surfers, cult favorites from the early-'80s surf revival. As always with instrumental surf collections, there are a few cases where all the band's invention and wit went into the song titles -- Los Plantronics' "Satan Stole My Surfboard" is a plodding blues progression dressed up with reverb and Farfisa organ -- but there are enough unpretentious joys along the lines of the Surf Sluts' "Dragster" and Huevos Rancheros' "El Toro Muerto con Queso" to make Heavy Surf an entertaining listen.

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