Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Davie Allan and the Arrows - Fuzz For The Holidays 2dotdotdotdotdot
artworkDavie Allan has made a life out of making absolutely wonderful noise. His distortion, fuzz, wah-wah, et. al. transgress the boundary between ugly distortion and stunning beauty like no other. Perfection in fuzz! When applied to traditional Christmas songs, it's all to exquisite. This is a superb holiday release, though grandma may get the heebie jeebies when the tree starts to shake!

I just got back from seeing Davie Allan and the Arrows at Moe's Tavern in Soquel, California. I've known Davie for a very long time, and I have to say that his performance, and that of the band, was spectacular. Sam Bolle (Agent Orange, Slacktone, Jon and the Nightriders, Dick Dale, etc.) is a perfect match for Davie, and Brian Head (Dick Dale, The Plimsouls, John Doe, Peter Case, Marshall Crenshaw, Hillary Duff, Donovan Leitch) on drums drives the beat with monster results.
Picks: Frosty The Snowman, Jingle Bells, Blue Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Winter Song, O Come All Ye Faithful, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Do You Hear What I Hear, Santa On The Run, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Seasoned Greetings

Track by Track Review

Frosty The Snowman dotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Never did "Frosty The Snowman" have so much gusto! Still melodic as all get-out, but wonderfully fuzzy and rockin' cool. The sax and keys trade in the breaks. Too fun!

Jingle Bells dotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Davie Allan's ultra fuzz deluxe makes "Jingle Bells" into a rock anthem. The holiday classic sounds as if it written for fuzz. How can that be? Wonderful!

Blue Christmas dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Oh my god, what wonderfully dirty fuzz in the opening! You're just sure this can't be a Christmas song, and those Marc Bolin-esq chords confirm that this just isn't going to be right. Then, as only Davie Allan can do, "Blue Christmas" becomes a monster of melody and fuzz and rock'n'roll. Your tree will drop its needle when it's bathed in this sea of glorious noise!

I'll Be Home For Christmas dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Rising like "Telstar," this version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" becomes larger than life, while maintaining the melodic flow of the song. Fuzz and beauty are not supposed to coexist, but they do!

Winter Song dotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Vocal)

I usually bypass the vocals, but "Winter Song" is a very cool Yule song done with melodic flair and superb style. The keyboard plays a plinking pattern that reminds me of Vic Goddard and the Subway Sect, but without the clipping. Very nice!

O Come All Ye Faithful dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Gigantic drama, dare I say pomp, opens this wondrous melodic fuzz expedition into Christmas. "O Come All Ye Faithful" has never seen such a glorious blend of distortion and emotional tradition. The layered sound and lushness is really quite amazing, and the guitar just won't go away end is wonderful.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

A rockin' blues rhythm section supports Davie's melodic grunge to great affect. "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" blends fuzz and great traditional rock'n'roll in a fresh and fanciful way, and the whistling organ verse is Tornados-fanciful. Delightful!

Jingle Bell Rock dotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Helms' classic is light-heavy, light in its playful melody and rhythm track, and heavy in its luxurious fuzz. A simple pleasure!

Do You Hear What I Hear dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

This is brilliant top to bottom. The drums demand attention, and the keys add a playful flair. The violin is sweet and a superb counterpoint to the fuzz guitar. Davie's guitar in monstrous at times, and fluid beautiful at others. As "Do You Hear What I Hear" comes to an end, Davie employs his wonderful string slides and psychedelic fills, all drenched in his signature distortion. I need another star to rate this one!

Santa On The Run dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Vocal)

Another original vocal, "Santa On The Run" is a celebrative Christmas song the likes of which have been missing from Holiday fair for a long time. Rock'n'roll power and holiday fun! Way cool!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

A happy backtrack couples with edgy distortion to deliver "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" from the sea of just-another-cover-land. The flute and violin add immeasurably to the delightful lightheartedness of this track. Superb!

Seasoned Greetings dotdotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Davie Allan's heavy lumbering "Seasoned Greetings" has a dramatic pomp about it that commands attention. The melody implies the holidays, the fuzz defines rock'n'roll, and the arrangement is pure pleasure.