Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Big Ray and the Futuras - Desolation Planetdotdotdotdot
artworkThis third release from Boston's Big Ray and the Futuras displays significant development in the music and playing, as well as much more consistent production. Many fine tracks, some excellent melodies, and another step down the ever evolving road to surf. Traditional reverb, but nontraditional songs and sounds. Not just a big step forward for the band, but a fine surf instro release worth seeking out.
Picks: Horrorscope, The Glowing Men, Sputnik, The Condor, Los Banditos, Raygun, Astrodesia, Ants In Yer Pants, Seventh Wave, Tierra Del Fuego, Model 41863, Futura Go-Go, Tomahawk, Surf Ballroom, Desolation Planet

Track by Track Review

Horrorscope dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big hard driving surf and twang, well played and nicely written. The double picking is solid, as is the bass thunder. The melodic riff is friendly and a little unusual.

The Glowing Men dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great damped chop between rich surf notes. Sorta melodic, kinda pattern intense, yet interesting and dark.

Sputnik dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sputnik" sports really cool rhythms and delightful damped surf guitar. Very playful and adventurous, and infectious. The enthralling combination of elements grows on you as you listen. Right from the start I knew it was going to be a four star track, but by the time I had listened several times, I could resist giving it five stars. It's just too cool.

The Condor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With warm Spanish themes, "Los Banditos" floats gently along the coast with an endearing melody and sunlit sadness. Quite an enjoyable track.

Los Banditos dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sad and dramatic introduction yields to slightly Spanish flavored melody double picked to project a mournful picture of black lace and danger.

Raygun dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit on the garage side, "Raygun" is more on the nerves than melodic. Somewhat choppy, and without the fluid sense of the rest of this release.

Astrodesia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fanciful, pranciful, watery and delicate. The chop of the reverbed intro and breaks is simply marvelous. The melodic lead is sad and liquid, presenting delicate pictures of sunset on the coast. An excellent track.

Ants In Yer Pants dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nicely chopped damped reverbed chords and a wet melody line work together to create a track that's a little too jam-like, yet sports some interesting ideas and phrases.

Seventh Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This mysterious and spatial tune is very cool. The openness of the scenery, the sullen sense of adventure, and the really good blend of tones make "Seventh Wave" a very fine track indeed. It's a slow well metered track with sparkle and a romantic smoothness, yet it retains a surf shimmer.

Tierra Del Fuego dotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

A bit on the country side of the aisle, "Tierra Del Fuego" flows like a Bakersfield anthem for the slow walk home from the hoe-down. Quite nice.

Model 41863 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Model 41863" is a fun and enticing number with an infectious melody line and bright sound. Without being overly happy, this cheerful track delights and flows with the liquidity required for surf. Excellent!

Futura Go-Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Excellent drums drive this slightly thick track. Damped with chord chop, powered by tom toms, and anchored in a rhythmic percussive attack. Tribal and quite spirited.

Tomahawk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine slow number with a slightly Indian feel runs through your fingers like the sun dancing on through a glassy wall. Liquid, smooth, very pretty, and very enjoyable, with a pretty melody and cool drums.

Surf Ballroom dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The reverbed chords pump out delightful "Because They're Young" references through choked strings and springs. Mighty nice.

Desolation Planet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening and closing with the wind, "Desolation Planet" moodily haunts and warns of sadness within. Distant and vague, yet inviting and foreboding.