Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Baronics - Expositiondotdotdot
artworkLes Baronics are quite the band. Their first CD was a stellar merger of the classics and surf that was nothing short of glorious. This CD is a promotional item, not really considered their second release. They use it at shows, and to get bookings, that sort of thing. It is culled from 4 live performances during 1997. The easy nature of their playing and the pleasure they are experiencing on stage carries a lot of weight in the enjoyment of this disc. Some brilliant arrangements, some trad simplicity, and some kinda guile snake into your soft spot, leaving you pleased and comfortable. There's no great leap forward, just simple pure instro joy. A mighty nice CD.
Picks: Exodus, Pintor, Man Of Mystery, Charade, Tequila, Red Top, Walk, Don't Run / Perfidia / Blue Moon / Lullaby Of The Leaves, Rideau S. V. P., Yellow Jacket, Wipe Out, Mission Impossible, Bullwinkle Part II, Hawaii 5-0, Kanon, Un Jour, Un Jour

Track by Track Review

Exodus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Polite applause introduces this rendition based on the Lively Ones interpretation. It's more meaty and uses vibrato, as well as the lower registers, but otherwise retains their arrangement. Solid period reverb.

Pintor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is pretty true to the Pharos' original, but is much more richly textured. It has all the required chunk, and expert guitar work. This is a fine track, more engaging than the original. The whammy lends surf credibility to the Spanish basis of the melody.

Man Of Mystery dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

When the Shadows originally laid this down on tape, it was among the most piercing and intense mid tempo guitar instros around. This is toned down, but is otherwise an accurate rendering. Melodic, rhythmic, and infectious.

Charade dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's melody sense has always been superb. Much his work is yet to be surfed up. This is a sparkling slow mood piece, with a haunting sound, and Hawaiian whammy. Very nice.

Tequila dotdotdot
Party (Instrumental)

Chuck Rio's most familiar tune, faithfully delivered, with more warmth and less depth, and retaining the sax lead.

Red Top dotdotdot
Big Band (Instrumental)

The Big Band Jive era lies mostly untapped as a source of surfable covers. The few exceptions are wonderful (Flat Duo Jets - "Sing Sing Sing"). Woody Herman's tune seems an almost natural for the fifties based instro style, though not for surf. This is a good track, but not very surfy.

Walk, Don't Run / Perfidia / Blue Moon / Lullaby Of The Leaves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures medley, perfectly deployed, though a little muddy sounding.

Rideau S. V. P. dotdotdot
Bo Bop Rock (Instrumental)

This Be Boppish fifties style tune is very fun, and should be a party fave, but falls short of the surf mark. OK, but it is a spiffy energetic and very entertaining cover idea.

Yellow Jacket dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Ventures wrote this progression in search of a melody. I didn't like it then, and I still fail to see that attraction.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

No one beats the original. Competent, and a bit muddy.

Mission Impossible dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ready for the TV OD, we are thrust into the phone booth where our ancient tape recorded self destructs. I think this is among the better covers of this tune, and it's pretty straight forward instead of being cutesy like most others. Nice subtle job boys.

Bullwinkle Part II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly slower and more smoothly delivered than the centurions' original. The change in attack makes it almost an entirely different song. This is very cool in a more moody and less threatening way.

Hawaii 5-0 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Book 'em Danno, murder one." Slightly restrained performance, though tight and very listenable. The usual assault of covers is missing, but the polish overcomes the loss.

Kanon dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I'm so glad they included a live version of this. The version on their first CD is spectacular, and it's cool to see them do it live. Bitchin' inviting, and more than you'd expect, unless you already know about Les Baronics.

Un Jour, Un Jour dotdotdot
Party Surf (Instrumental)

I am unfamiliar with this tune's source. It's an R&B based thing with a hooky rhythm and melody line combo. Infectious and friendly. Party fun, frat revellion, and semi surf thrill.