Lemme Take You to the Beach / Various
A compilation of the surf instrumental bands of the world performing the music of Frank Zappa. This is a review from Phil Dirt's reverb central: Grin required, and check your attitude hat at the door. This is a consistently good disc, with many styles and ideas. each band integrates the Zappa sound into their own, spinning webs of humor and quirkiness, art and style. Innovative, adventurous, and very good. Picks: Atomic Mosquitos 'Let's Make The Water Turn Black', The Bitch Boys 'Memories Of El Monte', Breakfastime 'Aybe Sea', 'Peaches En Regalia', The Concaves 'We Are Not Alone', The Diamondheads 'Any Way The Wind Blows', Don's Mobile Barbers 'Baby Snakes', Estrume'n'tal 'Letter From Jeepers', The Foolz 'Zoot Allures'-live, Frank and the Pool Boys 'Lemme Take You To The Beach', Fudge 'The Orange County Lumber truck', Green Windows 'I Ain't Got No Heart', The Invisible Birds 'G-Spot Tornado', R. Stevie Moore 'Cruising For Burgers', The Muffinmates 'Love Of My Life', Corky Neidermayer 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance', Our Flying Saucer 'The Air', Pavlov's Woody 'Lumpy Gravy', The Spoilers 'Lumpy Gravy', Sr. Bikini 'Jewish Princess', The Test Tone Five 'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here', The Thurston Lava Tube 'Mr. Green Genes', Urban Surf Kings 'I'm Not Satisfied', The Vivisectors 'Willie The Pimp', The Wrong Object 'King Kong' 3THE SPOILERS 'Lumpy Gravy' 4 stars Perhaps the most surf oriented thing the Spoilers have cut, their interpretation of 'Lumpy Gravy' is quite right. The essence of the song is captured and reconstituted in a light hearted surf romp. Very cool! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3ATOMIC MOSQUITOS 'Let's Make The Water Turn Black' 4 stars The nuclear flying insects of surf do a really credible surf interpretation of 'Let's Make The Water Turn Black.' It almost prances at times, and always rolls with a light forward motion. I really like this! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3FUDGE 'The Orange County Lumber truck' 4 stars The shorebreak laps the shore, and from there, the surf is left behind. With a sort of Nice meets early Rare Bird in search of budding Genesis format, this disturbed coastal treatment is really quite interesting and enduring. Very nice arrangement. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3ESTRUME'N'TAL 'Letter From Jeepers' 4 stars Dark and hinting of POP (Pacific Ocean Park, a legendary seaside amusement park from the day), 'Letter From Jeepers' takes on of Zappa's silliest early vocal things and turns it into an after dark nightmare. Very inventive! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE BITCH BOYS 'Memories Of El Monte' 5 stars Frank Zappa's doo wop groove 'Memories Of El Monte' works really well as a surf instro! Lush and fluid, with a bit of narrative and a partial verse of the original song tagged onto the end. Who'da thunk? Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3SR. BIKINI 'Jewish Princess' 4 stars Heavy on thump and garage, leaning on Mexican rock 'n' roll of the glory days of Los Apson a bit, and with an odd phase-shifted sort of ambiance, Sr. Bikini has created an original sound and solid surf arrangement of this song. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE INVISIBLE BIRDS 'G-Spot Tornado' 4 stars Glissandoes, poppy sounds and arranging, near-silly percussiveness - OK, but it's really kinda catchy. I'll go so far as to say that this is the kind of song you might want to dislike, but can't. I love the piano! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3DON'S MOBILE BARBERS 'Baby Snakes' 3 stars Slow and sorta moe-derne, Don's Mobile Barbers lumber along in a semi-dark electro oddity that's compelling, yet ambient (genre, not recording). Programmed yet human. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE CONCAVES 'We Are Not Alone' 4 stars Santa Cruz's Concaves do a very surf version of Zappa's 'We Are Not Alone.' Plenty of reverb, damped rhythms, and spooky leads as they are known for. A very interesting arrangement! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE FOOLZ 'Zoot Allures' [live] 3 stars This is a jazzy aquatic arrangement, like maybe Zappa himself jamming with Tom Curren's Ocean Aces. Spooky, fusional, and spatial. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3GREEN WINDOWS 'I Ain't Got No Heart' 4 stars Hmm... I think the arrangement is a lot like some of the eighties surfbands, like a slowed Tommy and the Piers or Ripp Tides, maybe a little Living Daylights, perhaps some Surfin' Tapeworms From Venus, and even a touch of the Romans or their predecessor the Tikis. These are all pretty obscure acts, but they sure come to mind here. Thin, yet endearing, with a light hearted, almost bouncy energy. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE MUFFINMATES 'Love Of My Life' 4 stars Pretty surfy chords with organ swirls and dry lead over a surf beat, the Muffinmates makes 'Love Of My Life' over into a glissando exercise. This is an interesting way of converting it to the curl. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE DIAMONDHEADS 'Any Way The Wind Blows' 4 stars Interesting how the Diamondheads has shimmered this out. Surf, but not intensely so, with the melody allowed to carry the focus instead of a strong surf rhythm. It's quite a good arrangement and bears multiple listenings! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3URBAN SURF KINGS 'I'm Not Satisfied' 4 stars Those just slightly off balance Urban Surf Kings do a full surf arrangement of this early Mothers Of Invention song such that it sounds like it was written to be done this way. More than just a cover, 'I'm Not Satisfied' is a work of innovation. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE TEST TONE FIVE 'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here' 4 stars From the first Mothers Of Invention album, 'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here' went from tape echo mental floss with doo-wop leanings and drug danger to a fuzz and organ piece that's very VERY endearing. Sometimes like early garage psych, sometimes very modern, and always cool! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3PAVLOV'S WOODY 'Lumpy Gravy' 4 stars Frank Zappa's 'Lumpy Gravy' is probably as trad as it gets. Double picked, with organ underneath, and lots of grins. Melodic and very playful. This is really fine! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3CORKY NEIDERMAYER 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance' 3 stars Phase sifted ambiance and affects, voices swirly... that's the intro. The guitar plays a fuzz melody line. This is a pop kind of arrangement with glissandoes added. If you're familiar with the brilliant Pollo Del Mar version, you won't find any similarities. It's unusual. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3BREAKFASTIME 'Aybe Sea' 4 stars Heavy fuzz and drums, drama and magic. A bit of psych and swirl, a touch of garage, a taste of surf, and great drums. This works quite well, like a Fillmore refugee 40 years later. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3BREAKFASTIME 'Peaches En Regalia' 5 stars You can't do a Zappa tribute without including Pollo Del Mar. They have been morphing his sounds for over a decade. This is their latest conquest, and it's naturally a splendid exploration in sound. Great drums, fine guitar work, solid bass, and an excellent psycho arrangement. Soaring and engaging. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE VIVISECTORS 'Willie The Pimp' 4 stars I wondered is 'Willie The Pimp' would get the treatment? I always liked this song, whether the Captain Beefheart vocal with Zappa original, or the intensely growly Juicy Lucy version. This is a little repetitious, yet magically engaging. A touch of rockabilly, a smack of blues rock, and the Vivisectors' own brand of surf. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE THURSTON LAVA TUBE 'Mr. Green Genes' 4 stars Always inventive, the Thurston Lava Tube employ dirty fuzz, haunting sixties psych organ, and watery guitar over a morphed surf beat and groovy bass to reinvent 'Mr. Green Genes' to be a kind of vacation anthem. Very cool! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3THE WRONG OBJECT 'King Kong' 4 stars Lumbering bass, jazzy horn circulations, improv sounds, intense fuzz, keys... this reminds me somewhat of Phil Manzanera and Keith Jarret in their days together in Quiet Sun. This is a very cool jazzy fusion prog take on Zappa. The word jazz section is perhaps at odds with the coolness of the rest, or maybe it's perfect. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3R. STEVIE MOORE 'Cruising For Burgers' 4 stars I haven't heard anything from R. Stevie Moore since the so-funny 'Miss Placement.' Cool, mid tempo, programmed, a little disturbed as required, variable and quirky... yup, it's from the mind of R. Stevie Moore. Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3OUR FLYING SAUCER 'The Air' 4 stars Long whammy chords, faux Hawaiian guitar, island vacation gone slightly awry, and some very cool grin-inducing ideas. Very satisfying! Zappa Surf Instrumental Stereo 3FRANK AND THE POOL BOYS 'Lemme Take You To The Beach' 4 stars This is like a cross between the Doors, the California sound (Beach Boys, et al), and the doo-wop roots of Mr. Zappa. Really creative, a little quirky, and with a shredding double picked run up the middle. Way fun! Zappa Surf Vocal Stereo Review by: Davy Peckett in New Gandy Dancer I recall seeing Frank Zappa's (largely) instrumental work on stage in 1969 as part of a UK tour in Newcatle City Hall. The sounds - Willie The Pimp; Peaches En Regalia; Take Your Clothes Off, were just unique; glorious; different; spell-binding and bloody complicated! So top marks for all these bands tackling, and giving a surf touch to the maestro's music. It would have tickled him no end. Very spritely start with a very fast all-twanging Lumpy Gravy from The Spoilers before an equally fine twanging job by The Atomic Mosquitos. The Orange County Lumber cut is one of those weirdies I was telling you about but what a great job Fudge make of it. 'Jeepers from Estrumental is a huge 12 bar fuzz sound where The Bitch Boys conjure up fifties teens in a lovely Memories Of El Monte. It's back to strangeville with a good pairing of G Spot Tornado and Baby Snakes by The Invisible Birds and Don's Mobile Barbers respectively, the latter of which features comb playing. The Concaves have a powerful staccato surf edge and a brilliant Lullabye Of The Leaves drum snare intro on their contribution We Are Not Alone. Only space precludes us from mentioning every track on a great, great album. Each band is just cracking and there are no weak tracks at all - and we've not said that for a LONG time. Highly recommended. **** (Davy) Review from: Idiotbastard.com A CD of (mostly) surf instrumental bands performing the music of FZ. Try and imagine some of Frank's finest played by Dick Dale or The Tornadoes - or maybe even the Shadows. This is what this sounds like. Great fun. Highlights for me are the heavy reading of 'Letter From Jeepers', the Hank B. Marvin-ish 'Memories Of El Monte' (replete with Munchkin vocals), 'G-Spot Tornado'...oh, there's just too many. The two bands appearing at Zappanale #15 - The FoolZ and The Wrong Object - are two of the non-surf bands but, while their contributions stick out a little, each turns in great straight covers - the latter managing to sound closer to the original 'King Kong' than I've heard in many a year. There's some samples from the original Cucamonga-era tunes, and no proper copyright credits to speak of (it just says "these tunes were all written by FZ", although of course Ray Collins co-wrote 'El Monte'). Buy a copy soon before the ZFT outlaw it.