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SURF TRIO (Buy CDs by this artist)
Almost Summer (Voxx) 1986
Safari in a Living Graveyard (Moxie) 1988 (Can. Star) 1989

The Surf Trio thank their idols — Link Wray, Jon and the Nightriders, Brian Wilson, the Ventures and the Ramones — for inspiration on Almost Summer, and those names go a long way towards describing the Portland, Oregon quartet's joyful sound. Facility for Ramonesy '60s melody-punk, surf-twang, beach pop and garage-rock makes each track in this sampler of delightful retro styles a different kind of magic. Exemplary and refreshing.

The second waxing is equally great, with such resonant originals as "Hang Ten," "Go, Go, Go," "My Real World" and "Girl with No Name," all written by bassist/singer Jeff Martin or guitarist/singer Ron Kleim. The album's only disappointment is an inconsiderately rushed cover of Bobby Fuller's classic "Let Her Dance."

[Ira Robbins]