Under Review

The Surfdusters

Save The Waves (Fireball Records)

Review By Mark PaulHus


The Surfdusters have gained legendary status in the surf rock world. Not only are they the only Canadian band featured on Rhino’s Cowabunga! The Surf Box (along side The Beach Boys and The Trashmen), but they have shared the stage with icons like Dick Dale and The Ventures, and their music was used numerous times on the beloved cartoon Spongebob Squarepants.

Save The Waves is a compilation covering their 20-year career, with old favourites hand-picked by the band at the urging of founding member Rich Hagensen. The result is a 27-track album of masterfully composed, bonafide surf rock. From it’s opening foghorn, it is evident that this is genuine surf that holds its own against anything produced in the fifties or sixties. There is little kitsch here; these songs weren’t written by greasy kids in aloha shirts who spend more time with their head up the tail pipe of an old Buick than they do at beach, nor are the songs just a mash-up of ripped-off riffs and regurgitated hooks. The Surfdusters have managed to find depth in a genre that is often just passed off as novelty. These are completely original, honestly conceived tracks from a group of people who obviously love both the music and the ocean. Save The Waves is a well-rounded collection of fuzzed out rockers, mid tempo rumblers and mellow cruisers that are fun, rambunctious and, at times, oddly serene.