From the Vault...


The Trashmen
"Tube City! The Best Of The Trashmen"

© Sundazed Records

Year of Release: 1992

track listing
  • Tube City
  • My Woodie
  • Surfin' Bird
  • Misirlou
  • Money
  • Kuk
  • King Of The Surf
  • Bird Bath
  • It's So Easy
  • Henrietta
  • Malaguena
  • Sleeper
  • Bird Dance Beat
  • A-Bone
  • Bad News
  • On The Move
  • Peppermint Man
  • New Generation
  • Whoa Dad
  • Real Live Doll

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    The Trashmen
    "Tube City! The Best Of The Trashmen"

    What a better way to kick off Summer 1998 with a band's music that is more appreciated to listen to in the hot summertime. The Trashmen gained more popularity as an instrumental band rather than a vocal one. This greatest hits compilation, entitled Tube City! The Best of The Trashmen features 10 instrumentals and 10 vocal songs. The Trashmen's music is probably considered novelty rather than a rock band. Their instrumentals, inspired by the surf era, is compared to such surf favorites as Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, and The Chantays.

    Their most popular hit was a vocal tune, Surfin' Bird. The vocals here are so unique, from the nasal singing to the vocal sounds that sounds like someone is throwing up, (sorry, but that's the best way I can describe it; you have to hear it... Pardon any horrid thoughts on that description...) this band has some very interesting music. Bird Dance Beat was another attempt in style of Surfin' Bird, that features the same vocal style, with a regular singing vocal chorus.

    The vocal songs in this collection do not stand out as the instrumentals, yet they are good surfing songs to listen to. These songs not only relate to the surf music sound, but they also have an Eddie Cochran and/or Beach Boys style to them. With the exception of their most popular vocal tune, Surfin' Bird, the Cochran/Beach Boys style is there:

    My Woodie, (Beavis & Butthead fans would like that title, no doubt),
    Money (That's What I Want), the remake
    King of the Surf,
    and New Generation.

    Other vocal songs: Sleeper and A-Bone are Beach Boys-influenced songs, that features a racing car special effect. (The Beach Boys sang about fast/fun cars, didn't they?) A-Bone features that famous Surfin' Bird nasal vocalist in some spots. Whoa Dad is another typical surf-sounder, more in the style of Jan & Dean. Real Live Doll is a Christmas song, again, in the style of Jan & Dean. Both Jan & Dean-inspired songs are more of a novelty nature, rather than an actual popular Jan & Dean composition. (Anyone remember the Jan & Dean novelty song Popsicle?)

    Buddy Holly's It's So Easy is done very nicely, I should say, as the vocals are closely imitated, but never duplicated to Buddy's. Henrietta and Peppermint Man has the very early Beatles sound, as in The Beatles' Hamburg, Germany, Star Club/Cavern Club years.

    Miserlou is a Dick Dale remake. Malaguena is a Dick Dale/Duane Eddy styled tune. The guitars featured on such songs as Tube City, Bird Bath, Bad News, and On The Move, stand out as true great instrumentals in the area of the surf. And one thing about songs like Bird Bath and Bad News, is that these songs are instrumentals, yet they have brief breaks where the name of the song is "sung" in the fashion as if you disguise your voice as if you are belching, and taking your index finger and flipping it against the lips, like a little kid. Surfin' Bird also features this.

    Bad News and On The Move are personal favorites of mine, as I used to have this 45 rpm single. Playing the heck out of it, both songs features great guitars, and the vocals in between each verse of Bad News features the "belching" song title, hoops and hollers, and the lip-flipping.

    The Trashmen represents surfing music, but a different kind of surf. This compilation features some great novelty songs (mostly the instrumentals), likewise their regular vocal tunes are both in novelty and standard surf songs. All in all, this band represents another group of musicians that equally defined the sound of the music of the early Sixties: Surf Music. They also stand with their most fellow counterparts in Surf Music: Jan & Dean, and The Beach Boys. Obviously The Trashmen may never have been as famous as these counterparts, but like the summer, their music will make you feel warm all over.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sundazed Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #582
    Daryl Hall & John Oates--Marigold Sky
    Next Review: #584
    Roxy Music--Avalon