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The Breakers — Strange Shores: Old Singles & New Hits
(Bandcamp Sharawaji SRW207, 2022, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-11-04

Strange Shores: Old Singles & New Hits Cover art

This compilation by the Chicago area’s premier surf-rock band collects a dozen orphan cuts that have never appeared on their four previous regular albums, alternate versions, and a few new cuts that appear here for the first time. The core unit of The Breakers remains guitarist Jim Abrahams, bassist Jayson Slater, and drummer Marc Lockett, though guests appear on some of the tracks, including Dan Klapman (sax), Jack Abrahams (keyboards and voice), Gary Kretchmer (trumpet), Chris Stavrou (cello), Craig Williams (keys), and others.The band has released a number of songs as Bandcamp-only singles, and several of those are here for the first time ever on physical media, like the 2020 instrumental Christmas single “O Holy Night,” the ‘Twilight Version’ of “Don’t Go into the Woods,” a song originally on their 2019 album Transmissions from a Hornet Free Environment, “Vodka Sonic (Techno Tonic),” a modern surf classic that might have been right at home in 1963 except for all the synthesizers, and last but certainly not least, The Breaker’s take on the Mike Oldfield classic “Tubular Bells,” most definitely not what you’re expecting! Other songs of interest here include their instrumental take on the Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart tune “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,” originally made famous as the B-side of the Monkees “I’m a Believer,” though here retitled as “Steppin’ Porpoise,” also the superb opener “Crystal Pistol” that bursts forth with an almost punk energy, “Rotation” with its classic surf beat and melodic sax counterpoint, the certainly-brief but potent “Point Conception,” and the twisted but effective title track that closes the album beautifully. All taken, Strange Shores presents a great collection of tunes that haven’t been available previously.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): The Breakers

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