Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Aquamen - Do The Alkeeholdotdot
artworkThis is a mixed release. There are some pretty good surf tracks here (mostly towards the end of the CD). For the rest, suffice it to say that frat rock instros with reverb do not a surf album make. The repeated references to drinking, drunkenness, booze, and the high school view of sex tells the tale of an adolescent mindset.

Early on, I suspected that these guys would develop into a good surf band, Their earlier cassette demo, while horrible sounding, seemed to mask fast spirited surf guitar work. After several years, there seems to have been little musical development.

They are much more a Pacific Northwest styled frat band than anything else. That may be a bit severe, but I found much of this to be the sort of thing that would only appeal to a listener if he/she were intoxicated. Otherwise, it contains a lot of chord noise. Crude garage instros, raw and unimaginative. The sound is better than lo-fi, but the mix is harsh and amateur. I'm sure they will hate me forever, but I found much of this to be hard to listen to, and I think this is not a very good CD, though there are certainly a few bright spots. Not among the bright spots are the two adolescent wish-we-were-the-Sonics vocals. "Cuz Yo A Woman" is not just lo-fi, it's garagie and frat rock oriented nonsense. "Panty Raid" is likewise low quality. Wanting to be the Sonics does make it so. Frat screamin' adolescent Animal Houseblah blah... not drunk, not interested.
Picks: Wild Turkey, Jose Cuervo, Do The Alkeehol, On The Rocks, Blue Hawaii, Gin and Tonic, Beans 'N' Rice, Ouzo, Mezcal, Roja, Malibu Pineapple, Black Velvet, Thunderbird, The Godfather (theme from "The Godfather")

Track by Track Review

Wild Turkey dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very repetitious, like a backtrack with a bit of a break. I found myself waiting for a melody to kick in, which never came. Plenty of energy, but not very interesting.

Jose Cuervo dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of screaming drunkenness. Fiery glissandoes, but otherwise, it's mostly a backtrack, or a simple progression.

Do The Alkeehol dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Just a loud chord jamming assault. No melody, no interest, and too much adolescent frat house shouting. The aural quality is about like some of the poorer Pacific Northwest instros from the early sixties, distorted and grindy.

On The Rocks dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Some pretty nice glissandoes, and the "surf" guitar playing is fun, but otherwise... Make all the noise you want, if this ain't teenage drunken stupidity, nothing on disc is. No melody, just thrashing and bashing intensity.

Blue Hawaii dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line is actually quite nice, but the PNW backtrack (too much like "She's Waiting") really gets in the way. Mostly grind. The lead guitar is quite nice.

Gin and Tonic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Minimal melody line, though nice, is not well recorded enough to be very listenable, certainly not fit for radio. As with other tracks, the lead guitar is pretty good, but the rest of the band is not particularly listenable. It is a bigger sound than most of the other tracks, and is more interestingly structured.

Beans 'N' Rice dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Too much chord domination, not enough melody. I suppose that it would be a good backtrack for a garage vocal, but it doesn't stand alone.

Ouzo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow, pretty surf instro beginning, and faster paced middle section. This is a nice track, despite the limitations of the mix. Best track here. It shows off the playing ability of the lead guitar quite nicely.

Mezcal dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pretty solid surf instro, with a good melody line. I like the use of whammy. Plenty of energy, and lots of assaultive guitar.

Roja dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big surf guitar, whoopin' surf party madness. The lead is pretty hot. A simple melody, but effective. Too much chord action on the lead for my tastes, but the performance is fiery, and the overall effect is pretty good.

Malibu Pineapple dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfy enough, but mostly unmelodic, a progression waiting for a lead.

Black Velvet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nice use of surfisms, but the melody is a pleasant. The changes are good, keeping the interest level up. The lead guitar is way better than the rest of the track.

Thunderbird dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's fast, but otherwise, whatever the cheap wine conjures is here. Minimally melodic, spirited, not very interesting.

The Godfather (theme from "The Godfather") dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The theme to the flick starts slowly and wetly, then breaks into a rapid double picked rave. It's pretty fun. The trad Greek section is pretty cool. A nice track.