The Sentinals

Sunset Beach: The Best of the Sentinals

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Both of the Sentinals' albums combined onto one CD, with the addition of a bonus track, "Vesuvius," from the 1963 KFWB's Battle of the Surfing Bands! compilation. The Sentinals' debut LP, Big Surf, was a diverse if uneven platter. It was best at its most Latin-influenced, as with the rolling riffs and cha-cha rhythms of "Latin'ia," their best-known track, and the Latin-Bo Diddley mix of "Latin Soul." "Exotic" is an acceptable Dick Dale pastiche, but on some other instros they get into a more standard R&B groove. In the vocal department, there's the fastest version of "Shout" (with vocals) you'll ever hear, drummer John Barbata pushing the tempo like a cuckoo clock coming unwound; one of the relatively few covers of the Beach Boys' first single ("Surfin'") available; and the maudlin "Surfin' Tragedy," a lyric the musicians obviously weren't taking terribly seriously, judging from the tongue-in-cheek execution. 1964's Surfer Girl was not as raw or Latin-influenced, and therefore not as worthy, as Big Surf. You still get some fair cuts like "The Pipe," with its sketchy Dick Dale-does-"Pipeline" vibe; the eerie "Twilighter," with its "Telstar"-ish wordless backup vocals and a melody that resembles "Georgy Girl"; and the strange instrumental cover of the Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl." Much of the time, however, they sound like a young R&B-rock bar band circa 1963, with the intensity heard on much of their debut album muted. "Vesuvius," the bonus cut, is a worthy, frantic surf-meets-the-twist raver with some of Barbata's best early drumming.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:16 SpotifyAmazon
2 2:05 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:32 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:11 Spotify
5 1:14 SpotifyAmazon
6 2:25 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:55 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:09 SpotifyAmazon
9 2:11 SpotifyAmazon
10 1:51 SpotifyAmazon
1:57 SpotifyAmazon
2:03 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:08 SpotifyAmazon
14 2:06 SpotifyAmazon
15 1:46 SpotifyAmazon
1:42 SpotifyAmazon
2:00 SpotifyAmazon
18 1:28 SpotifyAmazon
19 2:16 SpotifyAmazon
20 2:09 SpotifyAmazon
21 1:53 SpotifyAmazon
2:15 SpotifyAmazon
2:35 SpotifyAmazon
1:45 SpotifyAmazon
25 2:32 SpotifyAmazon
2:18 SpotifyAmazon
2:30 SpotifyAmazon
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