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Listening to these 23 tracks is much like listening to someone from the U.K. speak. The language is basically the same, but it sounds different enough to make you cock your head and wonder if you heard correctly. Which is what makes this disc appealing. American surf-and-spy music is about as overplayed as early Motown. “Misirlou” is a great tune, but it needs a vacation. These songs, while typically more polite than homegrown rave-ups, offer trebley twang and growling sax riffs that are both familiar and fresh. Not even one-hit wonders, many of the acts here were one-recording-session wonders. Not surprising then to find eccentric producer Joe Meek’s name all over the credits. This explains the heavy-handed echo and reverb effects on songs like the Packabeats’ version of Bobby Darin’s “Dream Lover.” Mike Ford and the Consuls’ “Jump Jeremiah” is a baldfaced rip of the Tornadoes’ “Telstar”—Meeks’ biggest hit. Also odd is the fact that five bands are led by drummers: the Dave Clark Five (with an early single, “First Love,” that owes too much to “Theme From A Summer Place”), Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers (the jingleish “Caroline”), Peter Chester and the Consultants (“Ten Swinging Bottles”—as the Vigilantes, the same band released “Man in Space”), and Jimmy Nicol, who once subbed for Ringo, and whose “Husky” is a tightly arranged, brass-and-organ shout-along. It makes no sense, but it’ll have you chanting “Husky! Husky! Husky!” Why not?—Dave Nuttycombe