Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Aqualads - Revengedotdotdotdot
artworkThis release finds the Aqualads progressing into subtle well played territory, where brute force is not required to command attention. The writing is melodic and the ideas quite fresh.
Picks: Surfers Revenge, House Of Siam, Loose Gypsy, Sun Stroke, Runaway, Hollow Day, Island of Dr. Pinchot, Storm Surge, Surfing with the Sharks, Dark Eyes, Hungarian Dance No. 3, Shakin' Not Stirred, Mar Gaya, The Last Wave

Track by Track Review


Surfers Revenge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmic rolling drums and rhythm guitar back a surfable melody line with a warm almost Euro riff. Playful and infectious.

House Of Siam dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rolling thunder from the drums and bass support a spares whammy chord danger. It is a bit tribal, but mostly huge dark waves on overcast days. Excellent!

Loose Gypsy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and saucy, with whammy and delicate damped second guitar. It doesn't exactly have a melody, but it drips pomp and drama. It grows on you, attesting to the power of subtle and simple. Very cool.

Sun Stroke dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hmmm, I can't decide if this is gypsy or surf. Elements of both coexist in a double picked surfable structure. In some ways, it reminds me of lesser known Eddie and the Showmen tracks. Tasty.

Runaway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Del Shannon's hit played in a slightly exotic way, with suave fluid sound and a magnetic jungle ethic. The surf side of the arrangement is gentle and wet.

Hollow Day dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gentle chords, exotic percussion, a sub-border feel, and a warm melody. This is a nifty idea, pleasing and friendly, and infectious. I can't say there's another out there like it.

Island of Dr. Pinchot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Island of Dr. Pinchot" is pretty Euro sounding. It's on the gentle side, melodic and warm. The imagery is island breezes, swaying palms, and glassy lagoons.

Storm Surge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speedy tubes close out, bringing the sand and face together without warning. Fast double picked fire and danger, and fun. This is definitely not a tune for shore break.

Surfing with the Sharks dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Now, this is a nifty tune. It's splashy and sports a bass line like the Evasions used to employ. Infectious and fun, with mighty quick high-E double picking. A slightly Euro sound, maybe a hint of gypsy, and lots of cool reverb.

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are quite a few versions of this traditional Russian tune in rock instro form. This is a among the better and more listenable. Cool speedy double picking in a balalaika style. Rhythmic and fun. The break features a run from "Malegueña."

Hungarian Dance No. 3 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brahms wrote it, and the Aqualads bring the reverb to it. Fast rolling military drums and a moody tone give it a whole new feel.

Shakin' Not Stirred dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funky Latin percussion and warm tones, splashy jazzy flair, and a stop-start arrangement... fun tune. Midway, it breaks into a "Perfidia" sorta chord thing for a bar or two that is quite refreshing. Dig the subtle vibrato shimmer.

Mar Gaya dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Randy Holden's (Fender IV) surf monster, played in a less grodie fashion on a higher register. It retains the dramatic rhythm and beat, but has a more refined approach. An excellent version.

The Last Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and silky, "The Last Wave" floats across a seas of glassy vibrato which reflects the sunlight in a shimmering sunset orange. Sad and pretty.