Various Artists

Lost Legends of Surf Guitar, Vol. 2

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Like its predecessor in the Lost Legends of Surf Guitar series, this serves up an assortment of instrumental surf rarities from the early '60s, all of the 20 tracks on this compilation recorded between 1962 and 1964. It's a little less impressive than the first volume, not for reasons that are too obvious, but just due to a general lower level of energy, imagination, and devastating riffs. For surf enthusiasts, however, it's not bad at all, and there are a good deal of names here that made their mark on rock history, even if the Trashmen and the Surfaris are the only ones who had surf music hits. David Marks & the Marksmen, for instance, led by just-ex-Beach Boy Marks, are represented by a couple of previously unissued 1963 recordings; Scott Engel, who did the 1963 single "Devil Surfer," would later become Scott Walker, as part of the Walker Brothers and then a solo star; Michael Lloyd was in the New Dimensions; Terry Melcher produced the Catalinas' "Banzai Washout"; and Jerry Cole was a prolific Los Angeles session man. There are also a couple of previously unreleased 1963 Surfaris cuts, though these are unremarkable covers of Link Wray's "Jack the Ripper" and Duane Eddy's "Yep." As is the custom on these anthologies, some tracks make bigger ripples than others, with some really tough and fast playing on Cole's "Point Panic" and Gene "The Draggin' King" Moles' "Burning Rubber." In contrast, Jan Davis' "Boss Machine" effectively slows the pace down to a cooler, moodier vibe, and Engel/Walker's "Devil Surfer"'s strings and wordless corny pop backup vocals are odd rejoinders to the manic laughs (of the devil, one supposes) that supply the tune's main gimmick.

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