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Torpedo Press


The title track opens this CD with its wonderfully catchy melody set against jangling electric guitars. Green Light gives the go-ahead for a more typical modern surf blast from The Torpedoes. Their three-piece instrumentals are guitar led with leader Brian Pool multi-tracking himself to boost the sound. He favors a strident edge with echo for a lot of the leads, slipping into sustained distortion for screamers like The Gunfighter and Night Of The Hot Rods and easing into some beautiful solo acoustic for the closer Davenport. Fishin' is a slower piece while Lickety-Split ia a fast romp. Most of the album is uptempo in fact, modern guitar rock with surf roots, relying on riffs and the beat rather than the melody. It's all original material but I just keep going back to the haunting melody of Lucky You which is picked out Meek style on a single note keyboard. 
 - Alan Taylor, Pipe Line Instrumental Review, Summer 2000

THE TORPEDOES Lucky You ***  CD-R Demo

 The Torpedoes have moved into a more ringing tone, and employ much more technique and less spitfire attack. The effect is to deliver the tracks with much more sophisticated arranging and playing. Guitars, bass and drums all deliver the goods exceptionally well. The lone vocal is the very funny "Bad Boy." 

        Lucky You, Green Light, Bad Boy, Manhattan Skyline, Batwing,
        No Trace, The Gunfighter, American Heartbreak, Big Sky,
        Fishin', Lickety-Split, Night Of The Hod Rods, Acoustic

LUCKY YOU ****  Title track.
 The Torpedoes added a plinky keyboard mimicking trad piano here to play the lead. It's really quite a nice effect. The track is nicely arranged with two guitar parts and the keys, plus bass and drums. It's quite rhythmic, and very playful. Quite cool.

 Much more like the Torpedoes you expect, this is powerful riff based surf 'n' punk short board rip 'n' shred instro guitaristry. Brian Pool's playing is still quite fast, but a couple of years have added quite a bit of subtlety and technique. More like a back street chase than a green light, this track dangerously dodges parked cars and pedestrians in a desperate attempt not to appear on COPS. 

 Another deviation from the Torps of old, "Manhattan Skyline" is melodic, slightly percussive and fluid, delicately delivered, and tasty, like Henry Mancini meets Buck Owens. Very cool track.

 More like the Torpedoes of old, this is fast machine gun attack instro fire. Notes fly off the ax at a blinding rate. The drums and bass do a fine job supporting the guitar with a smooth punk cowboy assault. Excellent rampaging track. 

- Phil Dirt, Surf Heavies Reverb Central review, January 1999


LUCKY YOU - The Torpedoes

The CD starts with a 50's style instro accented by a chime that adds a touch as memorable as the bell in The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" and as unexpected as the chime in Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing". This is a real change for the band that built a reputation as the Van Halen of Surf by playing Dick Dale's Nitro louder AND faster then Dick. But after a couple tunes Brian Pool lets us know where he's coming from with the vocal track "Bad Boy" which sounds a bit like The Reverend Horton Heat. More traditional Surf tunes round out this strong CD. 

- Otto von Stroheim, Tiki News - Issue 15



The Torpedoes (a San Francisco-based trio featuring Brian Pool on guitars, Jason Brown on bass and Brandon Watson on drums) are putting a very interesting "twist" on instrumental surf music. They combine an aggressive surf sound (like some of Dick Dale's recent recordings) with an almost psychobilly feel (somewhat reminiscent of the Reverend Horton Heat and The Hillbilly Hellcats). And they play with tempos that are right out of speed metal. Guitarist/composer/leader Brian Pool's Tele is up front and right in your face on most of the 17 tracks on their debut CD, Good For The Country (on Resurgent Records CD RR001). My favorites include the movin' (and brief) opening number "Manta Ray," "Interplanetary" (driving and kinda ominous-sounding), the minor-based "Spanish Main" (a bit of a "Malaguena" thing here, with a hint of "You Only Live Twice"), "Half-Pipe" (short and to-the-point, this one rips) and "The Snake" (Brian gets the tremolo workin'). You can order your copy of Good For The Country (the cost is $12.00 which includes shipping) directly from Brian Pool at 1 Peters Ave. San Francisco, Ca. 94110 

- Jim Hilmar, Vintage Guitar, January 1997 


THE TORPEDOES "Sea Legs" *****

San Francisco's other buzz bandits, the main exponent of surf punk and rippin' speedo guitar North of LA. This track came from their first stop by KFJC. It was recorded in the pit in early '95. Already checked out by two major labels, it's only a matter of time before they are signed and take over the world. Look out Seattle, this is real rockin' stuff. MTV will love them too. I mean that in a good way! They will rule the world. 

- Phil Dirt, Surf Heavies Reverb Central review, August, 1997 


THE TORPEDOES AT THE EDGE - July 18th, 1996. San Francisco, CA

The Torpedoes have been steadily creating a significant following in the Bay Area of California with their outrageous performances and ultra-high energy surf sounds. With the emergence of Neo-Surf around the world, the Torpedoes stand an excellent chance of making their name through live performances such as those witnessed at The Edge, in Palo Alto, on July 18, 1996. That night they opened for the touring and commercially successful Los Straitjackets from Nashville Tennessee to an anxious and awaiting audience.
Many people had come to enjoy the sounds of Los Straitjackets but became impressed toe-tappers during the Torpedoes set. They came onstage to the cheers of many local fans, choreographed their first number and cruised from there on. Their sound is a combination cow-poke western/skate punk style of surf. TheTorpedoes are a must-see live act. Only in person can one grab the true feel of Brian Pool's blinding staccato guitar, a role for which his red Fender Telecaster is poignantly positioned. Brian's long blondelocks, showman's outfit and stage stances give him a strong charismatic appeal with the female audience.At times throughout the performance, Brian attempted his characteristic "in-your-face" guitar walk throughthe audience. Only the limit of his guitar cord brought him back to the stage. Brian's picking is so fast that you literally cannot see his fingers. His anchored staccato has been referred to as "blur picking" makingsongs like The Hornet and Interplanetary audience faves. 

Jason Brown is also a very talented bass player in his own right and obviously takes lessons from Brian in the art of lead bass. During Brian's switch-off from Telecaster to Stratocaster, Jason will rip into a combination bass-lead version of The Munsters TV theme and the immortal Squad Car. Jason adds to thewild side of a Torpedoes performance. He invariably will look for unusual places to stand while he plays, such as on top of amplifiers or monitors. At previous shows, I have even witnessed him walking out of the club and into the street while playing bass and dancing with female passersby. 

All of this excitement would not be possible without the rock-steady surf beat of Brandon Watson on drums. Their performance produced a pit frenzy that brought about 15 girls to the stage level for dancing amongst the band. From witnessing this, one may have gotten the impression of what true go-go dancing was like in the 1960's. These unexpected live incidents are the trademark of a great Torpedoes performance. 

A clear musical highlight of their set included Nitro that made the Dick Dale version sound like a 33RPM recording. Other scorchers performed included Gyroscopic Control and their best known song played regularly by Phil Dirt, Spanish Main. Clearly, in the drag race of surf music performances, The Torpedoes`chute is always the first to open. 

The Torpedoes can be heard on their self-produced CD, Good For The Country on Resurgent Records which is available in many indie record stores around the Bay Area and available by mail. Visit their website at for more information. 

The Torpedoes CD is available from Surf Music USA for $12pp. See review elsewhere in this issue. 

- "Big Wave" Dave Becker, Surf Music U.S.A., November 1996 


Good For The Country. The Torpedoes. Resurgent RR001 -- CD (I) 1996 USA. 

Manta Ray/The Hornet/Interplanetary/Spanish Main/Nebula 33-7/Green Light/Half-Pipe/The Mummy/Midnight Surfer (Ode To Mark Foo)/Gyro-Scopic Control/Theme From The Ipcress File (AMan Alone)/Secret Agent In Berlin/The Naked Spur/Stockyard-250/Torpedoe/Trantula/The Snake. 

This rapid fire self-produced debut album from the Torpedoes will have your head spinning in no time. It wouldn't surprise me if they melted a gross of picks while recording this CD. This power-trio from Sunnyvale, California has been on the scene for a while and has gathered quite a large audience who begsfor more after each show. One of their better tunes Nebula 33-7 had a familiar ring to it so, I listened to a few of my records and it seems to be a direct copy of the Pyramids' song Pressure. This is not a traditional surf sounding CD for those who want to know. It is more of a hard driving rock guitar sound.But if you would like to pick one up, check out our SLCSMAS Surf Store. 

- Bob Dalley, Surf Music U.S.A., November 1996 


THE TORPEDOES. "Good For The Country" - Resurgent Records (CD).

This is some serious warpath music with heavy surf assault. The wave closes out on "Stockyard-250" and you get hammered. Your adrenaline's flowing now... don't breathe 'cause hold-down time is one minute, 15sec. Props to this trio for "Midnight Surfer" which is an ode to Mark Foo who, if you remember, was a legendary big wave rider who died not too long ago off a Nor Cal shore on a 12 footer (which is actually about 16 ft., small by his standards). The set ends with "The Snake," a longboarder's two minute dream-ride into shore. My only complaint is that the bass-guitar volume could have been brought up
considerably on the final mix. (1-5 scale? 4) 

- City Revolt Magazine, June 1996 


TORPEDOES "Good For The Country" **** 

Brian Pool is hell-bent on being the fastest man of surf guitar, and the snazziest flashiest dresser behind a Silvertone. Jason Brown is bound for the short-line of bassists capable of playing the lead melody while the guitarist caries off the rhythm, and being the funniest play-his-bass-in-your-face stage/audiencepractitioner in the business. Brandon Watson is destined for the machine gun hall of fame, with rolling military precision awards. Overstatement? Maybe! Maybe not. Having just seen them again for the first time in a few months, I'd say, you see 'em, you'll agree. This is the debut CD from this Sunnyvale
California band, who alone occupy the new genre of Submariner Surf. They have recorded 17 instrumental tunes for us, in five basic styles. First is Brian's trademark faster-than-you'll-ever-bepunk/surf thrashers, which accounts for the bulk of the CD. The undelivered promise of skate-core, the mere hinting of JFA is brought to fruition here. In this groove are "Manta Ray", "The Hornet", theremarkable "Interplanetary", "Nebula 33-7", "Green Light", the skate-titled "Half Pipe", "The Mummy","Gyro-scopic Control", and "Torpedoe". All you ex-punks looking for the new messiah band, this is it. They prove great punk needs no words, in fact it's better that way. The second style evidenced here is the surf genre played with manic attack, most admirably displayed through "Spanish Main" and "MidnightSurfer". The third style is moody melodic grotto surf, a new venturing-out for the lads with the marvelous "The Snake". Fourth is the reason they are so popular in Arizona and New Mexico (they've been invitedto play the state pens), cow surf, here shown through "The Naked Spur", and "Stockyard 250", and live by the incredibly great "Fishin' With My Boy", and "The Happy Song". The last is spy-core, and that is conveyed by "Theme From The Ipcress File (A Man Alone)" and "Secret Agent In Berlin". 

Phil Dirt SURF HEAVIES, May 15, 1996 


TORPEDOES "Good For The Country" CD 

They raged at Summer Surf II. They have sped through the club scene like a raging wildfire. Now, they've been absorbed by the bits & bytes of a CD, and it's about time. It's surf with a punk attack, punk with a surf edge and feel. This trio wham-bams their way through a slew of original surf thrashers. It's surf for the mosh-pit! The flagship tune is Spanish Main. The artwork is courtesy Ferenc Dobronyi of Pollo Del Mar. In summary, it's FAST, AGGRESSIVE, MELODIC! It's GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY! 

Phil Dirt SURF'S UP! 


Last night (8/2) the Paradise Lounge and the Transmission Theatre in San Francisco hosted a Reef Madness CD release party. Participating in this evening of surf music were NorCal bands The Aquamen, The Berzerkers, Pollo Del Mar, The Sub-Mersians and The Torpedoes, and SoCal bands Brazil 2001 andKelp. 

Through that ever-lovin' door into the Paradise and into the full force of the high-energy set of the Torpedoes. The logo on the drum kit states that these guys are "high-intensity surf" and that, brothers and sisters, is no lie. 

You got Brian Pool on guitar, you got Jason Brown on bass, and you got Brandon Watson on drums. These three gents not only play that high-intensity surf, they rawk like nobody's business. You want a party band that'll blow the roof off and garner you friends like you wouldn't believe? Book this threesome.

The portion of their set that I caught included shreddin' covers of "Walk Don't Run" and Dick Dale's "Nitro," a cool cover of "Pipeline" (in response to an audience request), and a turbo-charged original, "Batwing." 

The band closed their set (and the Reef Madness show) with a request for wahinis to come up on stage and "dance with the Torpedoes!!!" Only two women rose to the occasion, and the band launched into a hard-rockin' nameless original. Afterwards, Jason encouraged the audience to suggest names for the song. 

A good-sized crowd (roughly 200+) enjoyed the music, and 'bungan Jay Hector made the I5 hour drive to record the Berzerkers, Kelp, and The Torpedoes. No Matt Kora though; he was on the other side of town, catching the Aqua Velvets at the Beach Chalet. 

Seven bands in three hours and forty-five minutes equals one hell of a surf music show. Kudos to Ferenc and Bernard for putting it all together and pulling it off. This is one for the books. 

Kudos also to Reef Madness CD executive producer Ted James for putting together *the* comp of the year... 

-- Jim Murphy 

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