Philly's Surf Rockers

Bruce Von Stiers

Usually, when you think about where surf rock themed bands, you probably think of them coming from the West Coast or maybe somewhere in the Caribbean. Bur there is one band who embraces the nature of surf rock that comes from Philadelphia of all places. Dry Reef is the name of that band. And they recently released their debut album titled Daychange.

The members of Dry Reef are Patrick Gillen, Collin O' Donnell, Charles Minehart and Joseph Anderson. Patrick plays bass and does the lead vocals. Collin is on lead guitar. Charles plays guitar and does vocals. And Joseph is the drummer for the band. For the album, the band got a bit of help on percussion from Jim Hamilton. He gained fame with the ensemble Global Illage.

Daychange has ten songs and a play time of thirty-eight minutes. The album is set up as Side A and Side B. Yes, just like a vinyl record or cassette tape. Both “sides” have five songs each. It was produced by the band and Tyler Ripley. The album was released by Free Dive Records.

I have to admit I'm not familiar with the modern surf rock sound. It me, it seems a bit of light reggae with a touch of smooth jazz thrown in. But I like both genres, so the sound is pretty cool to me.

The first song is Harmony. It is a toe-tapping song with a bit of Reggae and light ‘60's beach music.

Come Away has a fluid, lyrical styling with some nice, laid back guitar.

Sweet has an almost smooth jazz tone to it.

The Wash has a touch of R & B mixed with jazz and rock.

Car Keys has some rather cool guitar in an almost ‘70's R & B, rock sound.

Start It Up brings the sound back to a reggae styling with some light rock.

Cool rock / smooth jazz guitar sound, along with a strong drum backbeat can be found in Saucier.

Nowhere Fast is another reggae sounding tune.

Bliss is a light toe-tapper.

The album concludes with Another Day, which has great guitar in a nice toe-tapping beat.

Dry Reef is a nice change from the average alt rock / pop sound that is out there right now. The band seems to combine the essence of a few different styles of music and make it work.

Daychange can be found at most music retailers.

The band's official web site is They also have a Facebook band page at

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© 2018 Bruce E Von Stiers