As soon as the vocal came up on the first song I started smiling. It was Jeff Dahl’s voice and it sounded just like it did on so many great releases over the years. Born in Germany and raised in Hawaii, Dahl recorded his first release in 1977. I first saw Jeff when he was a member of Vox Pop. They were basically an extension of 45 Grave with some extra members and more LSD in the mix. With his wild white boy ‘fro and crazed stage antics, Jeff stood out like a sore thumb on the Los Angeles punk scene but somehow fit in with the glam inspired side of things. But Jeff was not discouraged when LA started veering toward the shaved head and boot stomping hardcore movement. Instead he battened down the hatches by showing you could have it both ways first by temporarily joining hardcore pioneers The Angry Samoans and then starting a straight-up hysterical Rock N’ Roll band called Powertrip. Along the way he carved himself an identity as a no-nonsense rocker with an appreciation for rebel rockers from all eras. He worked with bands as disparate as the “Kings of Punk” Poison Idea and Indiana down home rockers The Lazy Cowgirls. He had great guitarists play in his band including the Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome and the Adolescents’ Rikk Agnew. Jeff made a lot of records over the years and every one was a love letter to his passion and his passion was Rock N’ Roll.
After many years of silence and what seemed like retirement back to Hawaii, Jeff has returned with a new release. As stated, once the first guitar lick and that voice kick in it is unmistakably Jeff. His trademark sound is still there revolving around frantic guitar riffs backed by bashing drums. The kind of music females can shake to while the boys can start a steady slam pit at the same time. Lyrically Jeff’s words seem to reflect his current and past life in Hawaii. Jeff was always an inspiration to many and in a song like “Bang On” Jeff is still sending messages of keeping the musical faith to people with open ears. There are songs about surf as well but its not like Jeff has tried to make his own version of “Pet Sounds” Hawaiian style. Jeff had always written reflective songs and these are in the same vein but coming from the place where Jeff is now, and was once from. But I still think Brian Wilson would hear “P.F. Surf” and think it fucking rules. Fans of the OC surf bands would enjoy the wave anthem as well. So clear some space on your shelf for a new and much welcome CD by a real deal.