Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Aqualads - Surf! Surf! Surf!dotdotdotdot
artworkThe arranging and production on this CD are very good, and many of the songs perfectly written. Easily the best CD from a band that has consistently produced solid work. It's been a long time since there was a new release - way too long, I say.
Picks: Surf! Surf! Surf!, Trantula, Folly Beach, Curse, Rodeo Gals, Speedshifter, Sun Poison, Oasis, The Dog, Dangerous Curves, It Came From The Sea, Hangin' 11, Pier #9, Snowboarding, Creeper

Track by Track Review


Surf! Surf! Surf! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A reverb crash brings on a rompin' fun instro with inviting whammy chords and glissandos, and a bridge of optimistic warmth. "Surf! Surf! Surf!" is an uplifting adventure in twang and splash. Very cool!

Trantula dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Trantula" is a shimmery vibrato fest. Slowish and sultry with chop chords and a slithery saunter like a tarantula under the influence. The core idea is very fifties in an Eddie Angel kinda way, but with reverb and Aqualads' style.

Folly Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and cool chords launch a very pretty and vacation-happy melody. "Folly Beach" is inviting in an nonintrusive way. Very good listening like a soundtrack entry for a Holiday in Europe film. Excellent!

Curse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Wailers' moody and dangerous "High Wall" is sped up a bit, washed in reverb, and infused with nervous tension and dark rhythms. This is a splendid cover. Tweaky sci-fi sfx added for extra uneasiness.

Rodeo Gals dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A moody guitar line opens with liquid chords inspired by the opening of "Ram Charger." The melody rides above a rolling rhythm with watery flair, with slight references to the Nevegans' "Russian Roulette." Infectious and warm with a real sense of open road adventure.

Speedshifter dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a genuine drag race anthem, with glissandos and the structure of a fifties drag strip rocker. "Speedshifter" is a pounding and fun instro.

Sun Poison dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sun Poison" sports a very cool rhythm and beat, and a nervous riff with a dark edge and bite. Circulating patterns and reverb, and very good guitar work. The moody midsection is haunting and rumbling. Just rockin' cool fun.

Oasis dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sinewy, "Oasis" is a lush song with the desert written all over it. It's a totally captivating and sensual song that bears the heat of the desert and the passions of life. Stunning!

The Dog dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A jazzy rhythm track runs softly under this very pretty song. The reverb adds a sense of spatial, almost dreamy landscape to "The Dog," which makes me wonder where the dog is. Very cool!

Dangerous Curves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funny, but "Dangerous Curves" sports a toned down version of the backing track to "Do The Dog," which makes me wonder if the titles to tracks 9 and 10 are reversed. This is simply a fun R&B based instro with a sultry low down sound with reverb. Very nice track.

It Came From The Sea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark vibrato throbs with danger, then the classic surf rhythm and drums pulse beneath a somewhat dangerous guitar line with the same kind of ominous message as "High Wall," but with a marvelously original melody line. "It Came From The Sea" is a wonderful track with a seductive rhythm and sound.

Hangin' 11 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pure classic surf rhythms and modern surf chords combine to create a moody and seductive surf adventure. "Hangin' 11" is a very cool track with three guitars working together is a very well developed arrangement. A little spy like as well.

Pier #9 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danger under "Pier #9!" Moody and ill-fated, but with an optimistic bridge that brings the sunshine after the dangers of the storm. A splendid song, well written and arranged, with a compelling sound.

Snowboarding dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The drums beat from "Mr. Rebel," a rolling bass line, a monsters on the loose melody line... There are a number of things going on in tandem that combine to make "Snowboarding" an adventure in danger and thrills.

Creeper dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft haunting shimmer from the guitars create a soundscape of lush emotional sadness. "Creeper" is a very pretty and moving piece of music. Beautifully textured and very atmospheric.