Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Robbie Allen And The Sundogs - Artificial Horizondotdotdot
artworkRobbie Allen And The Sundogs play a unique variant of instrumental surf, with traditional elements and dryer modern effects. The original melodies are mostly pretty god, and the few covers are very well done. There are some really nice tracks on this CD!
Picks: California Coast, Chasing The Horizon, Tropical Storm, Ligaya, Dito Naghihintay, Mako Blues, Yozora No Hoshi, Ue Wo Muite Arukou

Track by Track Review


California Coast dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The seagulls call the island whammy and moody drums forth. The melody is haunting as the waves gently break on the sand. Delicate muted notes and dribbled double picking round out the scene. The break meanders a bit, but the imagery is cool.

Chasing The Horizon dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dry muted guitars back up a loud fuzz lead. The melody is a combination of vintage and modern rock. Adventure and curl abound. The big wah wah break is very late sixties, inspired by Jimi Hendrix' "All Along The Watchtower."

Tropical Storm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tropical Storm" is a bit surf, and a bit rock, with a very nice melody that's reminiscent of some of the surf instro singles from the eighties. Very tasteful.

Ligaya dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ligaya" is a light and airy track that's very easy going. It's a pretty track that's hard not to like. The title means "Joy" in Tagalog.

Slaughter House Road dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A dry glissando opens this track. The bass is booming moody, and the lead guitar menacingly circles around while the muted second guitar keeps time. Not melodic, but rhythmically compelling.

Dito Naghihintay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice track, with muted rhythm guitar and a fluid melody line that's a bit sad, yet optimistic. The lead guitar alternately is stereo effected and mono, and drops into fuzz for a verse too. "Dito Naghihintay" means "I'm Here Waiting" in Tagalog.

Mako Blues dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mako Blues" is a slow and moody piece. The melody line alternates between a relentless and slightly unsettling pattern and a circular melody that's very comforting. The break is delicately double picked. Quite nice.

Until The End dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Until The End" is a moreorless rock instro with smooth distortion and a hint of Dire Straits tone. Melodically not very interesting, but sweeping and smooth.

Yozora No Hoshi dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Yozora No Hoshi" is splendid in the mold of The Ventures' eleki variants. Groovy glissandos and surf rhythms. "Star Dust" is nicely played, and the big whammy chords add a swimming pool attitude. The other cover of this song that's pretty interesting is from The Space Agency.

Ue Wo Muite Arukou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a wholly original arrangement of Kiurici Sakomoto's "Sukiyaki." The slow and easy pace, and the delicate guitars, along with the relentless flow of the beat, make this compelling. Its original title "Ue Wo Muite Arukou" means "I Look Up When I Walk," meaning I hold my head up high I think.