Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Beat Tornados - Mission To Mirdotdotdotdot
artworkIt's been a while since we had a new CD from the Norway's Beat Tornados. Their last disc was excellent, but this is superb! Very well played original music with a solid surf footing under Euro melodies and interesting structures. Aside from the album's technical quality, the music is fresh and commanding, to say nothing of fun. The addition of theramin on some tracks also adds a spy-fi element. While some nods are due to the Shadows, this disc mostly creates new sounds from influences like Dick Dale and the Lively Ones, while presenting dramatic and sophisticated melodies and arrangements without pomp and circumstance. The price of admission is worth it for the ultra slow and tweaky "Miserlou" alone. A truly a fine CD.
Picks: Nokken Surfacing, The Greigster, Continental Missile, Late Night At The Tropics Inn, Cal., Chilifinger, Spy vs. Spy, Chubby Chaser, Skulljuice, Delfinen, My Next Girlfriend, Sting!, Tzatzikistan, Aloha From The Crypt, Mission To Mir

Track by Track Review

Nokken Surfacing dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nokken Surfacing" pops right up with a howling not unlike the Astroglides' Dark Surf, which recurs between Euro spy verses delivered with reverb, some double picking, and glissandoes. This has a lot of power and a menacing tone. Very intense.

The Greigster dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you might expect, "The Greigster" is classical from the pen of Edvard Grieg, and turned on its ear to become a surf monster. It retains the drama, but is strained through an outboard reverb. A really fine arrangement and performance, taking off on the classical surf trend started by Les Baronics.

Continental Missile dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays' "Continental Missile," which is heavily based on Brahms' "Hungarian Dance #5," is given a new face by virtue of removal of the sfx and a considerable polishing. Very cool.

Late Night At The Tropics Inn, Cal. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Now, this is a warm track. "Late Night At The Tropics Inn, Cal." flows romantically and with endearing tone. Quite rich.

Chilifinger dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fanciful and prancing, "Chilifinger" delights in a playful riff and rich tone. Euro feeling, but also aquatic, it sports a slick and powerful sound. Excellent.

Spy vs. Spy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Oozing espionage and psychotic sfx, this rich surf 'n' spy track bounces with an interesting and infectious beat behind a tight melody line and whirring theremin. Nice track.

Chubby Chaser dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With Dick Dale-isms dripping off the guitar in a playful setting, delicately picked and laughingly laid out, "Chubby Chaser" is just plain cool. Tweaky and fun, it's hard to not like this.

Skulljuice dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the dark side, and with a hint of monster movies, "Skulljuice" is a thumpy surfy whammy laden track with drama and a friendly sound.

Delfinen dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Delfinen" is a slow and sultry scenic number that floats like a specter upon the water. Spooky and airy.

My Next Girlfriend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Hawaiian sorta feel presents an optimistic look forward to the possibilities on Polynesian islands. The double picked verses are a little on the Italian side, providing a contrast to the island mystery. Very cool track.

Sting! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked twango on an adventurous California vacation, with sparkling waters and warm sunny days with no worries. Excellent track.

Tzatzikistan dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tzatzikistan" may be hard to say, but it's a very fun eastern European dance number with 24 karat fun dripping from every verse.

Aloha From The Crypt dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This very slow version of "Miserlou" rivals Gallon Drunk's for sludge factor, but is much more listenable. It's big, slow, ponderous, and dripping with pick slides and moody sounds for five and a half minutes. Major coolness here.

Mission To Mir dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mystical and fluid, "Mission To Mir" is spacie and middle eastern, and a little hokey too. Very smooth spy-fi.