Drenched in the reverb of guitarist Dave Esposito, the classic “Mr Moto” gets the whammy bar and lots of love and care opening up this dynamic and authentic perspective on instrumental surf rock. The two minute and fifty-two second rendition of the Belairs classic – which originally clocked in at 2:09 on Surfside records – is splashier, echoey-er (is that a word? Well, it is now!!) and a tad more elaborate. This New England based group (a quartet, though without Arlington’s Bob Damiano they performed as a trio on Saturday and still had a big sound,) take their favorite surf rock classics and “wet them up” – adding lots and lots of reverb, thus the album title Wet Sounds – a take-off on the Beach Boys Pet Sounds.
Mr Moto by Tsunami of Sound:
Listen to the original by the Belairs on Surfside records
The articulate original, “Pearl Harbor, written by Esposito, fits in perfectly with the material the group embraces, drummer Rick Sanger keeping the back beat solid and grooving. Sanger told Visual Radio on camera at the event that he wrote the third song, “Crystal Pier,” on keyboards and brought it to the group, recording the CD at Damiano’s studio in Arlington. It starts with drums, of course, and has a Beatle-esque intro (say, “I Saw Her Standing There” rhythm guitar or countless other early Beatles’ guitar musings – check out the Beatles here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrRUpvuBWQE ) before “Crystal Pier” regresses (or evolves) into the surf rock motif that is the ultimate goal here. At 3:47 it is the longest track on the disc. Come to think of it, an instrumental of “I Saw Her Standing There” would be a nice addition to the group’s repertoire.
David Esposito’s “Motor Oil” – a two minute and seven second exercise and pulse-pounding creative audio emissions goes on an adventure, experimenting with ideas in the context of a two minute romp, keying off of Aerosmith’s “Same Old Song and Dance” riff. The three originals sandwiched in between the covers, “Mr. Moto,” “Spanish Flea” and “Wild Weekend.”
“Spanish Flea” is a lot more Dick Dale than the light (and very famous) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass rendition off of Alpert’s Greatest Hits album (a variation of the song was also the theme to The Dating Game TV show.) This fluid and coherent rendition is the perfect warm-up to the rave-up “Wild Weekend” that follows. A song that started out as a theme to a radio show, after the Rockin’ Rebels brought it to the Top 40 it has become a surf-rock staple. On Wet Sounds guitarist Esposito explores the nuances of the cavernous melody. Check out a couple of live versions by the band here:
Hear Tsunami of Sound perform “Wild Weekend”
Wild Weekend, Patriot Place, Foxboro
If you dig The Ventures, “Let’s Dance” by Chris Montez, Dick Dale and the classic sound of the 60s, get it updated on this tour-de-force. For fun, give a listen to both the Rockin’ Rebels rendition:
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.