Various Artists - Chairman of the Board (Surf Soundtracks '64 to '74)

Made up of tracks specially commissioned to soundtrack movies from a selection of largely forgotten surf movies, this compilation offers up an impressive collection of gems from a lost era. Touching on a variety of genres from stoner to psychedelia, the songs featured all have one thing in common - they're cooler than a polar bear in an ice cube factory. Even if the closest you can get to a tropical paradise is going outside and standing in a puddle, it's easy to pop this record on, lie back and think of Hawaii, with tracks like the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Theme from Endless Summer by itself containing more guitar wig-outs and organ solos than you could ever possibly need, helplessly evocative of rip-roaring tides and golden beaches.

Elsewhere, the languid California drawl of G W Thomas, especially effective on Hollywood, is never short of super cool while the delightfully named Protein Brothers come up trumps with a blissed-out track laced with bongo, maracas and honey-tinged vocals. There are elements of early heavy metal on the almost Black Sabbath-esque Animal Kingdom from Smoghorn, and the Music Convention offer up Sitar Track, a brief but intriguing taster of what surf music could be if it was freed from the constraints of the traditional guitar, bass and drums set-up. Chairman of the Board is a great collection of oddities and curios from the genre's golden era and well worth investigating if you've a taste for breaking waves, boundary-breaking tunes - or both.

For a taster of the tracks to be found on the album, check out this Myspace page.



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