Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Barbacoa - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkVermont is home to Barbacoa. There's no hint of Bob Newhart here, just solid spy and spaghetti western based music with surf twinges and extremely good arranging. Most of the CD is in stereo, the middle track out of phase, and the rest in mono.
Picks: Delerium Tremolo, Chopped and Channeled, Catwalk, Spy-Fi, Trans Am, Hammerhead, Green Olives, Northern Spy, Stratosphere, Taco Bell's Cannon, Pounding Surf, Hang 'Em High School, Tombstone, Death Valley

Track by Track Review


Delerium Tremolo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal percussion, wailing theremin in the break, aggressive guitar riffery, pumped drums and bass, and somewhat noodly sax. It's powerful and dominant, with the energy carrying it.

Chopped and Channeled dotdotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"Chopped and Channeled" moves down an open road with a low profile look and feel. It sports a solid melody riff, a fine arrangement, with a tasty sax break, and a real feel of vintage writing with a modern sensibility. The double picking is solid without being overbearing. Twangy and very enjoyable.

Catwalk dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

Swimmin whammy chords, mid tempo spy on a catwalk feel, and a bit of minor drama. The walking bass line gives it a feeling of fluidity, while the rest of the track moves to a back street beat.

Spy-Fi dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

A little whammy, a basic backtrack, and an espionage feel, all well connected in a very complete track. The variations verse to verse give it a well thought out air, and the volume dips in the second verse remind me of Paul Johnson some. Smooth and durable, with some drama and thunder. The vibrato break and twin leads are quite tasty.

Trans Am dotdot
Austin (Instrumental)

"Trans Am" is structured like many an eighties Austin instro, no melody, but grinding chord chunk aplenty. Not very memorable.

Hammerhead dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy chunky rhythms, basic progression riffs, and quite a bit of guitar compression. Not very melodic. It seems to be waiting for something to happen that never does. The glissando crash and bit o' feedback is tasty. More grind than song.

Green Olives dotdotdot
Spy (Instrumental)

One might expect a nod to "Green Onions." One would be pleasantly disappointed. Trad yet fresh Euro spy sounds, excellent arranging, melodic sadness, and a sense of adventure. This has a shimmer about it, with a solid mix and tasty break. The vibrato throb here and there act like punctuation of the verses.

Northern Spy dotdotdot
Spy (Instrumental)

Thick garage spy stuff, with modern edge in the lead tone, and lots of stylish whammy. The melody is fluid and perfect for the spy flick genre.

Stratosphere dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf and spy, fluid chunk, whammy accents, and some country twang, like maybe a latter day LeRoi Brothers. Nice track.

Taco Bell's Cannon dotdotdotdot
Ska Surf (Instrumental)

The master is out of phase, making for nearly empty mono listening on some tracks. I presume this is a mastering error. That's too bad, cuz the track is really cool. Ska rhythms, ample energy, a fluid lead, and some really tasty licks. Infectious, but almost unbearable due to the phase problem. I can't tell if it would be mono if the phase were to be corrected, but it's very strange disquieting.

Pounding Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pounding Surf" is a really nice track, rhythmic and powerful, rolling and watery, with tasty glissandoes and a visual sound. It is quite infectious, with a solid beat and thunder down below. The stinging whammy here and there gives it an intensity that's pleasing and magnetic.

Hang 'Em High School dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Influenced by the pasta ethics of Italian cowboy flicks, this is a fluid and visual track that opens with gun shots. The opening riff is slightly reminiscent of "For A Few Dollars More." Barbacoa create a perfect film score, including the chorus. Very fine!

Tombstone dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Rockin' cowboy rhythms and cactus needle express sounds make this an enticing track. Well structured, and infectious. The melody is solid, and the arrangement great. Excellent guitar work.

Death Valley dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid cowboy surf with a keyboard in the back and a ridin' rhythm beneath. Slightly sad, somewhat optimistic, and thoroughly enjoyable, with surf tones and fluid playing.