Seasonal Favorites V2 (Double Crown Records)
All this week, I've been writing reviews for CDs that were sent to me at the P.O. Box. This one was sent last Christmas and I'm just finding time to write it up now.
This is a crime because the good folks at Double Crown Records were kind enough to send me a copy of "Seasonal Favorites V1" which I reviewed in January, 2007.
What hurts even more is that both volumes are of choice (and I mean CHOICE) surf and garage Christmas tunes. I'm a sucker for surf guitar. Add Christmas and I could spontaneously combust.
I have no explanation other than a brain tumor that made me pass on this CD for review. Time to make amends.
1.) Pollo Del Mar - Carol Of The Bells
The first half of this song is light rock then finishes fast with surf guitar... smooth intro into the CD.
2.) The Pete Curry Orchestra - Drums For Christmas
Curry is the bassist for Los Straitjackets and his orchestra is just him playing all the instruments - virtuoso stuff!
3.) The Neptunes - Sleigh Ride In Fresno
Think "Sleigh Ride" done by The Ventures and Dick Dale combined. It'll sound like this phenomenal track.
4.) The Icicles - Snowman
This group from Grand Rapids, MI should know something about snow (can you say "lake effect?"). Surprisingly good power pop original! Hear this one at their MySpace page...
5.) The Incredible Mr. Smith - Leise Rieselt Der Schnee
Using a German christmas carol allows this group for lots of great improvisation on the guitars... Ja!
6.) Surfin' Santa w Meshugga Beach Party - Jingle Bell Rock
Straightforward instrumental cover from "The World's Premiere Jewish Surf Band!" (their own billing!).
7.) The Dusty Watson Complex - Little Drummer Boy
WOW! Set at surf speed, this rendition will blow you away with its excellent guitar and drum work!
8.) The Barbary Coasters - I Want A Monkey For Christmas
Gayla Peevey wanted a hippopotamus... these guys re-work "Roll Over Beethoven" to ask Santa for a monkey. Roll over Chuck Berry!
9.) The Surfites - Saint Nick's AA Fueler
Santa intros this song, and we're off on a screamin' cruise down the main drag. Add sleigh bells, and it's just Christmas-ey enough.
10.) Glasgow Tiki Shakers - Deck The Halls
Well done version of the Christmas classic - loved the bridge in a minor key and all that fab reverb!
11.) Big Boy Pete - Silent Night
If Johnny Cash did this song in up-tempo rockabilly, it might have sounded close to this... amazing!
12.) Speedball Jr. - Rudolph's Secret
You're gonna have to listen to this one yourself to find out the answer to the secret. Interesting.
13.) The Pyronauts - O Come All Ye FaithfulPulsating rendition of this one - the surf guitars just bring it to life in a way no other instrument can.
14.) Full Load Of King - It's Christmas In The IslandsLush exotica? Oooooooo... Martin Denny and Les Baxter, eat your heart out!
15.) Frankie & The Poolboys - Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)
The standout track of the album. This one starts slow, nice mix of guitars (acoustic & surf), add some soulful organ where Yoko and the kids sing, and continue to add on the layers a la Phil Spector (minus the guns). Great cover from start to finish.
16.) Urban Surf Kings - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Very good rendition - no frills, no fuss, all surf guitar and they play it good here.
17.) Joe's Ocean - Deck The Halls
You're gonna feel like you've been on the ocean with this one - Joe switches styles between orchestral and soulful rock here... then there... then here... reminiscent of Substance W in many ways.
18.) Surfin' Santa With Meshugga Beach Party - Sleigh Ride
A good cover of The Ventures' great Christmas instrumental. Check their MySpace page to hear some surf music with a Jewish flavor!
19.) The Daytonas - Christmas Time For Fun
Wonderful original surf/garage track... I couldn't find anything about these lads... Can anyone give me a clue?
20.) Frankie & The Poolboys - Auld Lang Syne
A slow start can mean only one thing - a fast finish. Which we get to the delight of the audience on the track that ends this with a countdown! Perfect way to end the CD.
According to the Double Crown website where you can order this CD for yourself, they have about 100 copies left on their shelves for the 2008 Christmas season. You'd be foolish if you were to pass this up like I did. It's a rock solid Christmas CD suitable for playing any time of the year.
Double Crown doesn't have a "Seasonal Favorites V3" for this Christmas (think 2009). However, a band on their label named King of Hawaii released a Christmas EP just in time for 2008. At $6, this might be the bargain of the season.
Thanks for mailing this to me last year Sean... I'm sorry it took a year. My $6 is on its way to you for the EP.