Kim Salmon took his influences with him when he put Scientists to bed. His lo-fi, low-budget debut with the Surrealists, like much of his former band's best material, is suffused by the spirit of Captain Beefheart and the Stooges. (And it's rumored that it only cost $60 to record.) Granted, Salmon doesn't really sing (or even growl) exactly like Don Van Vliet or Iggy Pop, but his trio's take on the blues is just as jazzy and off-kilter. The songs, many of which are saturated by slide guitar, shimmy, shake, and slither (more like unruly lizards than formal "compositions"). "Feel" and "Intense" are particularly single-minded in their crazed, Suicide-like attack. The counterpoint to those howlers can be found in Salmon's spooky, faraway-sounding covers of "Blue Velvet," "Torture," and "Devil in Disguise." Then there are the three tracks that play off the album's title: "Surreal Feel," "Surreel Feel," and "Surreal Feal" (the latter of which is more like a sketch or doodle than a full-fledged song). If Hit Me With the Surreal Feel isn't a completely satisfying effort, it's still a lot of freaky fun with its goofy references to Dada, surrealism, and such. The recording was originally released in 1988 by Australia's Black Eye Records in a limited edition of 1,000 (some on blue vinyl).
AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy