Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bananas - To Surf And Protectdotdotdotdotdot
artworkWhat a wonderful CD this is! 21 spectacular songs beautifully recorded and arranged. It's not often that you can listen to this many originals in a row without a break, but the richness of the Bananas' music makes that possible, and with pleasure.
Picks: Surfin' Cowboy, On Your Head, Bull's Eye In San Fernando, Jamie Blond, Al Araf, Sicilian Devil, Red Flyin' Carpet, Raging El Nino, Russian Girl, Wavemaster, Srna, Kakawaii, Nightstalker, Lonely B.A.T.O., Chick Fight, Surfer's Tragedy, Aladdin's New Cadillac, Non Fiction, Indians Attack, Sunday Storm, Fields Of Dreams

Track by Track Review


Surfin' Cowboy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cactus drama, long dribbling surf rhythms, and spooky tone. "Surfin' Cowboy" is a sad number with an interesting blend of surf and turf. Great damped glissandoes and double picked melody lines throughout!

On Your Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lovely chords bring forth a rollicking number with splendid dribbling glissandos and a rich melody. Happy and very open road adventurous, and just full of fun. "On Your Head" is a fine track!

Bull's Eye In San Fernando dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

manic drums and ska rhythm guitar, glissandoes and reverb. "Bull's Eye In San Fernando" is an odd combination of elements mixing Spanish, surf, punk, and tango.

Jamie Blond dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dedicated to a blond Mata Hari and hinting of the "James Bond theme" just ever so slightly, "Jamie Blond" is a total surf double picked instro with a strong and interesting melody, a dark side, and a long ride on a dark wall. Excellent!

Al Araf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cymbals crash and the bass runs moodily along side long gentle surf chords, all under a circular surf lead that's haunting and dangerous. The tribal drums add a sense of remoteness. Perhaps slightly Middle Eastern sounding, "Al Araf" is another very original song.

Sicilian Devil dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite a cool track. The rhythm is classic line dance, while the melody is so Mafiosi! As it gradually accelerates, it becomes more and more surf. Tremolo shimmer, a bouncing rhythm, and a spaghetti melody. "Silicon Devil" gets faster and faster as it passes. Great tone! Excellent!

Red Flyin' Carpet dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped and delicate, "Red Flyin' Carpet" seems more Mexican tropical than Middle eastern, yet it has a caravan and oasis feel. Sad and fluid, with some really good ideas. Utterly splendid!

Raging El Nino dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked and Dick Dale-ish, "Raging El Nino" is the modern kind of riff surf that Dale writes these days, except in the break, where it really shines! Very cool!

Russian Girl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a sultry undulating track with a fine melody line and great surf chunk. The rhythm and lead work really well together. The gypsy section is very cool, as is the faster surf rage towards the end. Great track!

Wavemaster dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a playful track with a melody that's fanciful and surfy. Optimistic and lighthearted, but aware of the power of the curl. Splendid writing and playing.

Srna dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Is this the same as "CRNA?" No matter, it's a stunning track. Wonderful melody, grand tone, excellent energy, and very good listenability.

Kakawaii dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato, island breezes, and a soft afternoon lagoon feel floats the intro. Once the drums come through, it becomes less floating, yet in the final verses when the band is playing delicate slowly metered surf, "Kakawaii" takes on a downright attractive arrangement.

Nightstalker dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nightstalker" is a totally cool idea that's surprisingly fresh. Why no one has done something like this before is beyond me. The two guitars follow each other half way down the verse line, creating a very intriguing sound. One is dry, one is extremely wet and damped. It's a splendid affect!

Lonely B.A.T.O. dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Lonely B.A.T.O." is a pretty and soft surf song with a sad melody. It's quite an inviting song, with a relaxed and gentle aquatic sparkle via whammy and reverb. A very nice track with a bit of drama and attractive sound.

Chick Fight dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Busy drums bring on the brawl that is "Chick Fight." No, it's not a rough and tumble song, just a surf'n'sand epic with a bit of a struggle.

Surfer's Tragedy dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow vibrato and damped springs cracking... The intro is hauntingly cool. The spring action is as if the lead guitar is in the starting blocks and is just too impatient to sit still. very cool. All that's just the beginning. Once inside, the song runs on an inventive and optimistic melody played with flying glissandos and reverb crashes galore. Very cool.

Aladdin's New Cadillac dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The reverb tank crashes and crashes as "Aladdin's New Cadillac" begins. Middle eastern themes, surf moods, and drama. This is a fine track with a sense of danger and mystery, like a caravan of dark riders looming just ahead.

Non Fiction dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Duel lead guitars in different textures open with a threatening double picked run, then "Non Fiction" becomes a strong and dangerous surf instro. Dark and mean, like a stormy outsider coming to get you.

Indians Attack dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal and dangerous, moody and slow paced, "Indians Attack" is loaded with drama and thunder. Tom toms, moody bass, and a relentless rhythm pattern run under a lonely lead guitar. About half way through, it suddenly doubles its pace and gets more aggressive. It drops back to a mid tempo grumble before it comes to an end. Fine lead guitar work.

Sunday Storm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed and reverbed, with thunder and rain coming down, "Sunday Storm" is a very nice track with a circular riff and slight sadness. The drama of the writing is well presented with the guitars.

Fields Of Dreams dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Fields Of Dreams" is lush and lovely, slow and moody, and very romantic. This is quite a beautiful track.