Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Archie and the V2's - Swanlake Twistdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Archie and the V-2's are from Port Townsend, Washington. Mostly Russian melodies transfused with surf. This CD-R demo was recorded over two winters in a basement. Beneath the lo-fi sound are excellent performances and solid arrangements. A real studio disc from these folks would be a treat. While they are covering some Space Cossacks territory, they sound nothing like them, and have an original sense of arrangement. Keep your eyes peeled.
Picks: Swanlake Twist, Volga Run, Two Guitars, Lenin's Hill Rock, Theme From Leningrad, Wooden Heart Rock, Rumble At The North Sea, The Hall Of The Unknown Surf King, Kulkuri, Vagabond Guitars (Mandshurian 2347), Eclipse Twist, Platoon In Blue, Hungarian Express, Karelia, Nights In Moscow

Track by Track Review


Swanlake Twist dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A crushing glissando, heavily reverbed for war, opens this murky interpretation of Tchaikovsky's "Swanlake." The melody riff is just fine, and minimized only by the murkiness of the mix. Powerful and massive.

Volga Run dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional Russian melody is rendered ultra splashy with drive and power. Infectious and powerful, and the waves in St. Petersburg imagery is quite cool.

Two Guitars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional tune is all decked out in a super reverb Ventures arrangement, with lots of whammy and fluid lines. Double picking and echo and springs... what more is needed to convert a classic into a surf tune.

Lenin's Hill Rock dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dolmatovsky's tune becomes "Lenin's Hill Rock," with a Dave Cortez style organ whirling the lead as the surf guitar plucks out a Beach Boys/Chuck Berry kinda riff in the back. Quite cool!

Theme From Leningrad dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This splendid melody is a fine vehicle for a surf instro, sad and fluid, and full of life. This interpretation is rock solid, with lots of whammy chords and sparkling reverb.

Wooden Heart Rock dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a great tune. The interpretation is almost merry-go-round fare, with the organ modulated and the bouncy beat.

Rumble At The North Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rumble At The North Sea" is a heavy duty surf pounder full of surfisms and reverb. It's actually a classical piece from Edvard Grieg's pen, splendidly adapted and powered up. Lots of spit and vinegar in this murky track.

The Hall Of The Unknown Surf King dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a cool reworking of "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" merged with the Vydells' "Unknown." It's amazing how well it works when the reverb is cranked and the low-E drives over surf chunk rhythms. Quite powerful.

Kulkuri dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another traditional melodic number reworked to ride the tubes. Excellent arranging and hard driving surf sound.

Vagabond Guitars (Mandshurian 2347) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic and fluid European themes and long delayed sustain. Some double picking and lots of icy charm.

Eclipse Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Eclipse Twist" is a variation on a Mediterranean sounding number, perhaps Armenian. The melody is cool and playful, and the pumping organ adds a childlike quality to the track.

Platoon In Blue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Platoon In Blue" is a remarkably enjoyable track, with a great melody line and enticing arrangement. The watery whammy and echoed guitar invoke images of Russian women in the best babushkas.

Hungarian Express dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brahms' "Hungarian Rhapsody" lends itself naturally to the reverb. Heavy surf guitar and gutsy power, and balalaika style guitar work. Pretty cool.

Karelia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Over echoed guitar and a sad melody combine to create images of desperate hope in the blowing snow. An interesting choice that adapts well to the surf/instro idiom.

Nights In Moscow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is darn cool... playful and sad, serious and well arranged. I keep flashing on Kenny Ball's "Midnight In Moscow." This is so much more serious and respectful. The actual title is "Padmeskkoveeya." Damn fine track.