Album Review - The Malibooz: Malibooz Yule
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More surf music for Christmas, but with a twist; a lot of these tunes are apparently originals, unless I somehow overlooked the Percy Faith Orchestra's version of "Santa Drives a Super Stock Dodge:" "And I heard him exclaim as he headed down Vine/Merry Christmas to all, now hear my Hemi whine!" These guys apparently are trying to channel the Beach Boys and come pretty close on many of these songs. This album is a reissue of A Malibu Kind of Christmas, circa 1992; they changed the title but very little else to tie in with another album of theirs, Malibooz Rule. The group is John Zambetti and Walter Egan, the latter the author of a solo album produced by Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and they have a website. "It's Just Not Christmas" evokes middle-period Brian Wilson after the breakdown but before "Smile," and many others, like "When Santa Comes to Santa Cruz," "And a Happy New Year" and "Santa Man" definitely touch on several Beach Boys hits. Non-originals include "Little Surfin' Drummer Boy," something that's been done before but the Malibooz throw in a little "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" vocalizing, and "Carol of the Swells" surfs up the carol about the bells. Then there's "Rudy, the Hodad Surf Dude," based on Rudolph's song, in which a stranded Santa gets a loan of a surfboard to salvage the holiday. And the album ends with "Christmas Wrap," another surf adaption, in this case "A Visit From St. Nicholas," who was, wait for it, surfing. Fourteen tunes was a little too many for a one-joke album, but the good stuff bails out the rest of the CD.