Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Blue Hawaiians - Live At The Lava Lounge 2dotdotdotdot
artworkIt's been six years since the Blue Hawaiians have issued new material. I won't say this makes that all better, but it sure was worth the wait! A spectacular and thoroughly original album. Vocals here include "Swingin' Hula Girl" and "Highlife."
Picks: My Favorite Martian, Deadman's, Our Man Flint, Human Jungle, Banzai Pipeline, Beat Girl, Dick Tracy, Hot Rods To Honolulu, Experiment In Terror

Track by Track Review

My Favorite Martian dotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

A long and tortured and very dramatic introduction gradually brings on a splendid version of Bobby Fuller and the Fanatics' ultra cool "Our Favorite Martian." It slithers and slushes in the way only the Blue Hawaiians can. Great track.

Deadman's dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

This eerie, moody track from their second album is very fluid live. It still oozes a Henry Mancini sensibility. Cool in a loungy way.

Our Man Flint dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Tweaky spy fluff done as if it was really art, and via the instruments of Blue Hawaiians, that's what it is. Well developed and slushy smooth.

Human Jungle dotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

With an Earl Stanley Gardner novel feel and an Earl Hagen melody line, "Human Jungle" undulates with sultry sweat and liquid magic. Very cool!

Banzai Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Henry "Hodad" Mancini wrote this back in the crusty daze of the early sixties. The Astronauts brought it to our attention. The Blue Hawaiians have reinterpreted it for the tiki bar nineties. Now, they sway it into the new millennium as if it belongs here. It's less pumping and more smooth. Infectious and fun.

Beat Girl dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

John Barry's "Beat Girl" is a liquid teenage tribal epic to start with, and when you substitute steel for horns, it takes on an island slither and sultry edge. Very very cool!

Dick Tracy dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

The Theremin wails, the drums roll, the bass rattles, the guitar meanders the alleys. There are several very cool arrangements of this Bogle, Wilson, Edwards, Taylor song, this among the most creative. Gutsy and liquid and dangerous, with moody and uneasy edge. Fifteen minutes of great music!

Hot Rods To Honolulu dotdotdot
Big Rock Candy Mountain (Instrumental)

This is a very strange amalgam of R&B, mariachi trumpet, bump and grind, rock guitar, and big production. Really cool and enjoyable, especially the ultra whammy madness! Live, it has more fire and tribal energy.

Experiment In Terror dotdotdotdotdot
Ventures Lounge (Instrumental)

The wail of the Theremin and the slow rise of the spooky sounds creates anticipation and danger. The opening alone is stunning. They eventually get to Henry Mancini's melody line. At eleven minutes, it's a spectacularly moving experience, like a Mermen epic with danger all around. It travels through lighter more playful parts and rises to an intense semi-psychedelic nightmare. Thoroughly cool and brilliant!