Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Black Arrows - Solid Sound In Guitarsdotdotdot
artworkThis is an interesting indo-rock release, with 16 instros that straddle surf and Euro sounds. Most are crudely recorded and mixed, not muddy, just with the backtrack so low that the inherent energy is somewhat masked. The band does some very interesting things with nontraditional songs.
Picks: Rococo, Tulip Fields, Little Lonely Train, World Of Fire, Wonderland By Night, Johnny Guitar, Midnight Blues, Hernando's Hideaway, Jumbo, Slave Girl, September Song, Lady Of Spain

Track by Track Review


Rococo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf and rock and damped reverbed picking... this is a fine version of "Rococo." Great raging drums and round surf tone, all placed squarely in front with energy and a grin.

Tulip Fields dotdotdot
Euro Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Big guitar European surfish and shiny... yup, that says it. A little Chuck Berry-ish, intensely whammied, echoed and jammed. Quite fun.

Little Lonely Train dotdotdotdot
Rail Road Rock (Instrumental)

Intensely whammied guitar, disturbingly twanging out a progression that borrows from many standard fifties rock instros, yet in this format seems fresh and inspired.

World Of Fire dotdotdotdot
Surf / Rock (Instrumental)

Like some Shadows tracks, this relies on long sustained echoed notes and a somewhat sad melody to convey its message. There's a hint of "Apache" here, with tasty whammy and some Johnny Fortune tone and double picking.

Wonderland By Night dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Walter Wanderly's MOR hit is delivered in a slow and restrained format, just right for the prom.

Johnny Guitar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This often covered tune is played reverently, with a cool tone and sad meter. There's enough reverb to let this fall into the surf camp. Quite nice. The sound is a little like a faster Safaris "Lonely Surf Guitar" (on Valiant).

Midnight Blues dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Echoed blues, not very soulful, but darn reverby. "Midnight Blues" is quite listenable, just not remarkable.

Hernando's Hideaway dotdotdot
Surf Tango (Instrumental)

Spunky drums, cool guitar tone, and a non-silly arrangement take this classic into credible territory. Very cool and innocent, "Hernando's Hideaway" will bring grins of satisfaction.

Jumbo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slightly sad, somewhat islandic, and very pretty piece evokes images of sandy beached and swaying palms. A great Saturday afternoon track.

Slave Girl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's incredible "Slave Girl" is played with whammy in active mode. While not as suave and intense as the original, or as shiny as the Blue Hawaiians, this version is very smooth, and the double picked break brings it into the surf camp.

September Song dotdotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

This version of the MOR classic "September Song" is slow and almost silky, but relatively unremarkable.

Lady Of Spain dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

'Bout time there was a rock instro version of this... fast and just plain fun. Big twang lead, and a energetic backtrack with a fine walking bass.