Surf Monkey comments

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I went to the Amu Plaza Christmas Market in Kagoshima on Dec. 20th to watch Bon Deluxe. At the end of the 2 PM set, I decided to buy Bon’s second CD. At the same time, the band’s bass player, Nonki Yamada, was helping run the sales table to collect money for the CDs while Bon signed the liner notes. Nonki had copies of his own CD on the table available for sale at 1,000 yen, and he talked to me a bit about his music. He’s into the Ventures-style surf sound, and he played every single instrument on the CD himself. (The only exception is that Bon sings the lead vocals for the bonus track, #8, On the Sea, On the Ship.) At that point, I felt I had to get a copy (which I did after the 4 PM set), and get it signed.

Most of the songs have English titles, which makes them easier to figure out. Track 4 is Nonki’s ‘What the Heck is this Medley’, and 7 is Nonki’s Christmas Medley. Pipe Line sounds just like the Ventures’ version, and rocks pretty good. Rap City and Yellow Jacket are a bit softer, but equally entertaining. What the Heck is a bizarre mix of surf and classical songs and are a lot of fun to listen to multiple times. Surf Monkey (written by Bon) is a return to the Ventures motif, and makes for good driving music (although the version on the Bon Deluxe CD actually sounds more vibrant). Blue in Heaven and the Christmas medley are again slower and lighter, but still enjoyable, while On the Sea is more reminiscent of a folk piece, and is the only track with lyrics. Overall, this is a really good CD and I do recommend it to anyone that likes surf music. My favorite tracks are Pipe Line and Surf Monkey, hands down.


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