An interesting idea that could have potentially have sucked, the Duo-Tones' Surf Music Unplugged is a unique oddity among the countless surf albums out there. Recorded on nothing more than two electric guitars, this is an album that runs on the talents of the two players alone. If this had been handled any differently, it would have been a disaster, but luckily the two guitarists happen to be Paul Johnson and Gil Orr, instrumental figures in the genre overall. Their chemistry is fantastic, resulting in gorgeous surf anthems that lose none of their drive and energy and instead become sweeping acoustic showcases for their plentiful talents. Capturing the airy, exotic mood set by most surf instrumentals, they focus their strengths on the pleasing rhythms and melodies that can result from this style of playing. This takes attention away from the "gimmick" involved and gives the recording the sense of balance it needs to come off successfully. Surf fans may be hesitant, but this is a side of the genre that is rarely evoked by the typical band setup, and it results in a very satisfying record.
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AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano