Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sandy Nelson - Walkin' Beat

Sandy Nelson probably wouldn't show up in your average list of 20 surf/surf-era-instrumental musicians today, but he really should be quite a heavyweight. He's got an enourmous discography, most of which is great, he just approaches Rock & Roll from a drumming angle when most of Rock & Roll is very guitar-centric. Still, he certainly does operate in the realm of rock & roll... though he does deviate a little here.

Most of the stuff on here are surfy instrumentals a la Teen Beat, but on the B side things get a little more interesting. He delves into chops demonstration territory, which may turn some off but I think Soul Drums' tribal pounding is just as danceable as anything else on here. Teen Beach gets a little more showy, with a lot more snare and admittedly dragging at parts. Then there's Beat From Another World, which is probably the highlight of the album. It starts out similar to the two before it, but with some spacey electronic yelps... and then the yelps of space creatures themselves. Clearly they're just human voices slowed down to unrecognizable levels, but it's used so much the music comes to a stop just to listen to these monsters go "YORP". It's hilariously strange stuff and the album cover leaves you no clue that Sandy was going to earn a sci-fi tag for this post, but I love it and it will certainly make great 4AM college radio. Then of course, he goes back to another great surfy instrumental.

Unfortunately this isn't a wonderful copy, and I doubt it's really all that rare either, so if I ever find another copy I might revise this one. It took some cleaning just to get the album into this shape, but now I think it's pretty listenable, just with plenty of crackles and pops. There was a spot on the second track with an unavoidable skip, but thanks to a little surgery in Audacity the song should sound fine now. So here's the final product, you can click that image below for the full tracklist.

Recently I found out that Sandy Nelson hasn't called it a day. He's teamed up with another band including Los Straitjackets' phenomenal Eddie Angel for a new (digital only) album. Unfortunately I'm at my absolute worst financial state right now so I can't get myself a copy, but the stuff on that Myspace sounds excellent. Anybody heard it in full?


Greg said...

Yes!! Great CD. I just found that he there is a Blog featuring Sandy Nelson. There is no music---but at least there is something around.
The site is: www.sandynelsondrums.blogspot.com

waw5114 said...

I saw this album on Rhapsody.
It has another cover to it.
I saw going to grab the songs off it from there.
My favorite is "Beat From Another World"
I have this on LP as well.