The Upshot: Do the monster mash, but on surfboards, and with Duane Eddy on the iPod.
BY FRED MILLS
Roll over Bobby “Boris” Pickett, and tell Southern Culture On the Skids the news, kids! Or at least quit rolling over to all those rekkird dealers on eBay who are trying to gouge you for original copies of 1964’s It’s Monster Surfing Time, which as we are told, nets upwards of 200 bucks on eBay and Discogs in its original Vee-Jay Records iteration. Yes, that same Vee-Jay that played early host to a band colloquially known as the Fab Four…. but I digress.
Surf music is a well-established, and much-loved, sub-genre of rock music. So-called “horror music” is also a sub-genre—think “Monster Mash” and all the other staples of oldies radio each year come the end of October—albeit, by virtue of its seasonality, considerably less so. But what if you combine surf and horror? Well, then, you have… bone rattle, er, I mean, drum roll please… well, you have It’s Monster Surfing, by the Deadly Ones. Who are the Deadly Ones? Most likely a bunch of Los Angeles session hacks, er, I mean, studio veterans, who gathered in 1964 in order to cash in on the burgeoning teenage phenom going on in the United States. Who were they? Maybe it was Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye, but seriously, who cares! (Fun Fact, however: One “J. South” gets multiple songwriting credits here, so… use your imagination.)
From the garage-shock blast that is “There’s a Creature in the Surfer’s Lagoon” and the minimalist (yet effects-strewn; is that a human voice trying to sound like a Theremin?) “Wipe Out” pastiche that is “Surfin’ Dock Side”; to the ridiculously overblown “Igor Goes Surfing” (which, amid some admittedly tasty upper-neck fretwork, finds the world’s worst Basil Rathbone imitator giving the titular Igor orders) and the similarly inclined title track (here, tremolo-tinged twang, wolfman howls, and Vincent Price’s stand-in); to a spate of actual/credible covers that include “Raunchy,” “Rebel Rouser” and “The Moonlight Surfer” (when you need some additional twang oomph, always call on Duane Eddy & Peers), well… these ghouls are for YOU, fellow hodaddys.
It’s all pressed on delightfully translucent green vinyl (“slime green” is what the ads say, so who are we to differ?), and with the utterly out-there cover artwork, it’s also one of those hang-on-your-wall pieces of vintage album art. So what are you waiting for, all you fellow wax ghouls?
DOWNLOAD: “Igor Goes Surfing,” “Rebel Rouser,” “The Mad Drummer Part 1”