Album Review of
Chicago Surf Rally

Written by Robert Silverstein
December 21, 2020 - 12:00am EST
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Nine of best instrumental surf-rock bands releasing music in 2020 are presented together on the CD release of Chicago Surf Rally. A benefit album to aid and support the Illinois Co-Vid 19 response fund, the 27 track CD is the brainchild of guitarist Jim Abrahams, leader and lead guitarist in the band The Breakers, one of the bands featured on this totally rocking, 79-minute compilation album. There are way too many highlights to mention, but suffice to say, each of these nine bands here have some strong musical ideas presented on three tracks apiece. Highlights include the 3 tracks by the Breakers while, another band here, Dan Peters & The West Side Winders turn in an equally remarkable performance on their three tracks. Long time spy-surf rockers, the now sadly defunct, Spies Who Surf, another Chicago based band always provides a great listen while Roger & The Wraybands turn in an incredible performance on their version of the Bob Crewe 1966 classic “Music To Watch Girls By”. Speaking about his musical mission on Chicago Surf Rally, the album’s executive producer Jim Abrahams told me, “When the Covid-19 situation started to take hold, we were in a local establishment, and I made a comment that it would be cool if some of the other instrumentally-oriented bands in the area would put together a charity album to help. My friend Mike, who was sitting next to us, said, “You know what, man? YOU should do it!” So I started thinking, “You know, why not?” I called all of the other guys to contribute, and they were all more than willing. Double Crown records picked up the CD and started their own charity effort, the proceeds benefited the Illinois Covid 19 Response Fund, and all of the bands received some great radio and podcast airplay, as well, particularly from Jonpaul Balak on the fantastic Fiberglass Jungle podcast. The only tough thing is that we have obviously not been able to play live, and all wanted to do a collective charity show or shows. Maybe that will happen in the future, when things settle down a bit." Much like The Breakers and Dan Peters and Co., all of the bands on Chicago Surf Rally are masterful at combining century surf-rock instrumentals with a not too subtle mix of psychedelic, garage rock and punk music, all played from the musical vantage point of contemporary, innovative surf-rock sounds. With proceeds going to help those adversely affected by the Pandemic of 2020, and with this excellent 2020 release featuring the cream of the crop of contemporary Chicago area surf-rock bands, Chicago Surf Rally is a primo choice for fans of modern-day surf instrumentals.