Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Davie Allan and the Arrows - Restless In LAdotdotdotdotdot
artworkDavie Allan has cut some amazing music over the years, many of them five star tracks. I'm a big fan! Restless In LA is easily the best thing he's ever done! A stunningly powerful and beautiful (in the heavy sense) CD!

Immense and intense power! Big fuzz and liquid playing. Often hard fast and dangerous, but even in the most relaxed and frivolous mood, Davie Allan's guitar conveys a disquieting menace. That's part of what makes his sound so unique and so attractive. The Arrows are one of the most powerful and overlooked rhythm sections in rock and roll, David Winogrond - drums and Bruce Wagner - bass. The writing is consistently strong and melodic, and the guitar wizardry unsurpassed. No surf this time out, just lots of top drawer biker fuzz as only King Fuzz can make.
Picks: The Toxic Terror, Kick Back, I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night), Quiver, Energized, The Loud, The Loose And The Savage, Wicked Woman, Theme From The Wild Angels, Arrow Highway, Restless In LA, The Stranger, On The Surface, Guitarra Triste, Demente

Track by Track Review

The Toxic Terror dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

Heavy thunder threatens like an invader coming into your town on an otherwise uneventful Sunday afternoon. "The Toxic Terror" is grodie and gutsy, sporting Davie's signature guitar sound and splendid playing. It's a monster!

Kick Back dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

A stompin' beat and bass thunder run under an optimistic melody turned on it's head. "Kick Back" is a joyous song that's heavy to the max and frivolous at the same time. It begs for the open road with the throttles open. Strong writing and intense sound!

I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night) dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Vocal)

All I can say is WOW! This is nothing short of stunning! I usually skip reviewing the vocals (after all, Reverb Central is an instro site), but this just can't be overlooked. Davie's voice is perfect for this song, and his use of fuzz and vibrato, coupled with the incredible power of the rhythm sections, simply rules the night. Amazing!

I'm not always a fan of Davie's vocals, but his intensely powerful arrangement of the Electric Prunes' "I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night)" is like an angrier version of the original, proving the power of the song that Dave Hassinger sapped out of it with his over-reverbed mix.

Quiver dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

"Quiver" (the song, not the band) sports a melody line that is so-o-o Davie Allan and the Arrows! melodic, fluid, powerful, optimistic, yet ominous. Dramatic bridges, a sense of another time and place, and the romantic view of threatening danger. A fine track!

Energized dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

Dirty power thrusts of long chords over great drums and bass thunder. Davie's stereo guitar lines give "Energized" a strange beauty. Fast and thick, and full of rich energy, like the title says. It also has one of those wonderful not-quite-done-yet Davie Allan and the Arrows endings.

The Loud, The Loose And The Savage dotdotdotdotdot
Motorcycle Spaghetti (Instrumental)

King Fuzz has written a tribute to the master of spaghetti westerns. Thick and dramatic, long sustain fuzz edge, moody sound, and pristine playing. Davie Allan and the Arrows are admittedly longtime faves, and I'm perhaps partial to a fault, but I really like Davie's work and sound. "The Loud, the Loose, and the Savage" is a fine example of his capability. Wonderful!

Wicked Woman dotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Vocal)

Some wah wah for effect, "Wicked Woman" is a vocal in the mold of garage pop of the sixties - not an interpretation (like way too many), but the real thing. A solid song with great guitar work, and a tuff rhythm section. Nice track!

Theme From The Wild Angels dotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

Produced by Davie and Chris Ashford, this has the flippant air of the film score, with soft vocal "ahs" and a liquid guitar line. Excellent retro, in the sense of Davie's roots.

Arrow Highway dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

Open road throttle cranked wind in the face rock 'n' roll. Great piano fills and rock solid guitar. The lure of the sun and the curves through the rolling hills is more than evident in "Arrow Highway." A fine instro!

Restless In LA dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

LA is a world unto itself. "Restless In LA," on the other hand, is a universal hard edged instro with an excellent melody and superb musicianship. Tough, ominous, and full of danger, or at least on the way to a dangerous place. Great stuff!

The Stranger dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

An unusually light fuzz instro from King Fuzz, with a fluid melody and a kind of innocence. No one can do this kind of heavy delicacy better than Davie Allan, and "The Stranger" is right up there on the top of the list. I think this is the kind of song that belongs under final credits in a film.

On The Surface dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

Ultra dirty guitar parts, thickly layered with Davie Allan everywhere! What a monster. Optimistic in the soaring sense, dangerous in the fuzz sense, and chunky in the Arrows sense. In some ways, it has the kind of free flying energy that Uli Roth brought to the Scorpions when Michael Schenker bailed out the first time. Not that it's metal or anything, just that his soaring guitar lines remind me a little of the flights of fancy Davie embarks on here.

Guitarra Triste dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

This song has been around for a while (Mike Curb co-writer credits), but it's never sounded this orchestral and sophisticated. A stunning reworking. melodic, fluid, and downright symbiotic. "Guitarra Triste" flows directly into "Demente."

Demente dotdotdotdotdot
Big Fuzz (Instrumental)

"Demente" moves into a long flowing song, brilliantly recorded and written. Almost orchestral, thickly layered, heavily intertwined with many sounds and textures, including horns. It's like a psychedelic tale of a black tie event. Amazing!