There are many veins of surf rock; traditional, punk, classic instro, fusion, and many more. The SoCal-based Eliminators fit comfortably into the traditional instro/surf sound, presenting a wall of Fender-fueled reverb that would have been hip in 1963 – around the time most of the guys in this band were probably toddlers.
Clearly, the emphasis here is on “reverence,” as the Eliminators work painstakingly to conjure a vintage sound with just a few modern allusions worked in. Check out, for example, the faux-f lamenco riffing on “Hang On” and the lilting (even corny!) melody of “Walking Tall” – however, it’s so authentic that it wouldn’t sound out of place on a vintage Hank Marvin and the Shadows vinyl 45 from way back when. Guitarists Joe Kurkowski and John Blair (originally of Jon and the Nightriders) also carefully mix Strat twang with Mexi-Cali acoustic guitar strumming on “Snake Eyes,” adding yet more credibility to the surf sound (many modern surf bands forget the role of acoustic guitar in classic surf and instro). Add some honkin’ tenor and baritone sax riffs and a tight rhythm section, and you have a excellent reason to grab this platter.
Listeners will also enjoy the cover photo of the Eliminators’ vintage Jazzmasters, Fender amps, and spring reverb units – all tweed, of course.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Mar. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.