Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bambi Molesters - Dumb Loud Hollow Twang De Luxedotdotdotdotdot
artworkAl right, you're in for a storm of accolades and drooling wonderment. Aside from really liking this band, and apart from having been a grateful part of the earlier version of this album, I tried - I mean I REALLY tried to be as objective as possible. I found myself all too often without enough stars to express the art and prowess of this album. Where Slacktone rule the roost with utterly unbelievable speed, power and talent, the Bambi Molesters are at the very top of the list of bands that can make consistently perfect and magnetic surf on the lighter more delicate side of the genre. That does not mean it is light weight side - not at all. Often very strong, their music flows with stunning composition and arranging, and very good playing.

This album started life as Coastal Disturbance, then became known as Invasion Of The Reverb Snatchers, and finally remixed as Dumb Loud Hollow Twang! Never content, the Bambi Molesters went back in the studio to rerecord the album with additional tracks because they didn't feel that they had ever really captured the band they way they thought it should be, and they really liked these songs and well they should!).

Their writing is melodic, pristine, well structured, and unique. Also here is a moody vocal version of "Restless" (Johnny Kidd and the Pirates?) which features a great surf backtrack. I sure hope the Bambi Molesters come to play the pit at KFJC one day.

This deluxe edition comes with a DVD documentary on the band that's quite well produced and English subtitled for us foreigners. With over an hour of material, and produced with grace and humor, the DVD is an exceptional promotional tool and very entertaining view.

I recommend this CD highly!
Picks: Wanganui, Hot Water Pool, Pearl Divin', Point Break, The Breeze and I, Mar Gaya, Big Time Action, Beach Murder Mystery, Sun Stroke, Catatonya, Standing on the Nose in a Stylish Manner, Coastal Disturbance, Long Gun, Hawaii Joe, Tremor, Landlocked , Cecilia Ann, Glider

Track by Track Review

Wanganui dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This version of "Wanganui" is all beefed up and sounding so tuff, with great twang and more surf chunk. The strong melody and fullness of the lead and guttiness of the rhythm bring a lot more power out of the song.

Hot Water Pool dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The rolling snare and throbbing bass open "Hot Water," which quickly becomes a heavy double picked surf grumbler. The horn adds a period accent at times, and a thoroughly modern non-surf edge too.

Pearl Divin' dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pearl Divin'" takes on a whole new sound here, with a more relaxed and sultry rendering that's also more emotional and maybe more powerful. A much more sophisticated arrangement reminds me of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm," in part due to the piano, bass line, and the vibrato, yet it still portrays the delicate beauty that was captured in the original production. It remains stunningly melodic in a pure lagoon surf way. Perfect!

Point Break dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More chunk than the earlier version, yet just as delightful, "Point Break" still celebrates the lightly damped double picked rhythm guitar, the long ringing shimmery lead, and the inviting rhythm. As much as I liked the original, I believe that the Bambi Molesters have gone one step higher. Splendid!

The Breeze and I dotdotdotdotdot

Ernesto Lacuona splendid "The Breeze and I" is lush and highly emotional here, with piano inspired by the Challengers' take, and stunning guitar tone that is immediately recognizable as the Bambi Molesters. Beautiful, fluid, deep with feeling, and as difficult to turn off as the stunning Vibrants version.

Mar Gaya dotdotdotdotdot

Heavy on the chunk, perhaps heavier than any of the other covers of this amazing Fender IV original, this is a sturdy and pummeling recording. Power, darkness, and glory. I don't know if Randy Holden has heard this version, but my guess is that he would be pleased.

Big Time Action dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The big drama of "Big Time Action" is retained, maybe even amplified with a more fluid performance and gutsier sound. Double picked lead, an optimistic melody, and a playful bridge. Among their earlier originals, this has really held up sell over the years.

Beach Murder Mystery dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Beach Murder Mystery" is beefy right from the start, with a tuff double picked lead line and strong rich rhythm chords. The active panoramics on the vibrato chords adds intrigue. Very cool!

Sun Stroke dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The liquid damped reverb second guitar and the slow and beautiful lead line accented by piano carry this beautiful track well. The drums and bass are in perfect support. Horns come in at times too. "Sun Stroke" is a happy, yet slightly sad song that's melodic and very sophisticated. It's in songs like this that the writing quality of this band shows so well. To draw a parallel, the talents of Percy Faith, Henry Mancini, and Paul Mauriat were often similarly arranged, not literally, but in spirit. Translate what they were able to do with melody and arrangement into surf and get an idea what the Bambi Molesters are capable of.

Catatonya dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Catatonya" remains delicate with an easy energy, but also sounds more relaxed and natural now. The Australian town of Catatonya gave its name to this song via a friend of the band that left years ago. "Catatonya" is a very pretty and mysterious song, with very different guitar parts that combine to create an inviting whole.

Standing on the Nose in a Stylish Manner dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big pounding drums open to a medium number that should be playing under a surf flick about Australia. Quite nice.

Coastal Disturbance dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Coastal Disturbance" remains grungy and progression based, with a touch of Link Wray influence, but with surf all around. Glissandoes and dangerous break. Dark and brooding and tuff with edge.

Long Gun dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Long Gun" has been reborn in many ways, with organ and a whole new feel. island chords and a gutty double picked bridge, and a film adventure sense about it. Island twang and drama.

Hawaii Joe dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I still like "Hawaii Joe" a lot. It is even more holiday rain in the Sandwich Islands than before. I think this is more fluid and infectious - hard to believe! A perfect capsule of original surf.

Tremor dotdotdotdotdot

Again, I am struck by how the Bambi Molesters are able to take an already scrumptious surf instro and make it even more wonderful. "Tremor" features a light and sparkling melody, beautiful damped plucked rhythm, and a perfect bass and drums backing. Dare I go on more about this? "Tremor" is simple the best!

Landlocked dotdotdotdotdot

Damn! It just keeps getting better and better. The airy lushness of the original has succumbed to a brilliant shine of liquid surf. Totally different, yet very much the same effect. The relentless sense of top down open road cruising is blatant and a pure joy!

Cecilia Ann dotdotdotdotdot

The Surftones' ultra cool "Cecilia Ann" has been covered a few times, but mostly in deference to the Pixies punked up version. The Bambi Molesters play it with much more reverence, but add chunk and power. Splendid.

Glider dotdotdotdotdot

"Glider" has come of age. The delicate rhythm and gorgeous lead seem in perfect balance and counter melody. A rich and endearing sound with horn added. A melancholia song with cautious optimism, and it's beautifully done.