Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Break - Church Of The Open Skydotdotdotdotdot
artworkWow! Church Of The Open Sky is a superb and very powerful album! When Peter Garrett departed Midnight Oil, his band mates reformed as The Break, and instrumental band with a surf foundation. Drummer Rob Hirst, guitarists Jim Moginie, and Martin Rotsey drafted Violent Femmes' bassist Brian Ritchie. Church Of The Open Sky is a splendid inaugural adventure.
Picks: Cylinders, Winkipop, Five Rocks, Blasket Islands, Groyne, Birdman, Dump, Phobos-Grunt, Mystics, The Surfing Priests, S.Q.U.I.D., Massacres, Oysters Stomp, Cyclops

Track by Track Review

Squintro dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a 30 second sequence on keys that portrays a gentle scene. It segues directly into the next track.

Cylinders dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cylinders" is very big! Heavy thunder surf rhythms and a soaring break. Big whammy, heavy twang, bass thunder, and excellent drums. It's mixed with creativity, and layered with ambiance.

Winkipop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Greta drums and bass, reverb crashes, scenic keyboard and guitar lines, and an epic sound. "Winkipop" is a healthy track with plenty of energy and an intense sound. It has a film score feel about it.

Five Rocks dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gritty tremolo and crash chords, wonderful tribal drums and grode bass give "Five Rocks" a commanding sound. Its heavy thunder and delivery are loud and impressive, yet not overbearing. There is a gentility about the melody line that is juxtaposed to the tone and production for an engaging listen. Superb!

Blasket Islands dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grand slow island imagery, disturbed by a King Kong-ish danger. The keys and chords paint a picture of beauty, while the drums and bass are more sinister. Dramatic, sweeping, and very enjoyable.

Groyne dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo throb and dangerous drums cycle through a tasteful riff. Some fuzz grit, and haunted keys, along with dissonant chords, create tension and mystery. Lumbering and cool!

Birdman dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmer and a dominant beat are well executed in this dark riff rocker. Its cycling patterns are varied with textures very well. The muted reverb verse is really nice, as are the pick slides. Angular and edgy, with an aggressive mix.

Dump dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dump" is a really pretty island melody and guitar sound over a cowboy beat. Drama ensues, as does spatial completeness. Intensely irritable guitar in the middle creates tension and discomfort, which is compelling and kind of psychedelic. The contrast adds dimensional complexity to this wonderful piece.

Phobos-Grunt dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rising psycho echo noise and future keys bring on really strong drums and demented chants, along with giant guitar. "Phobos-Grunt" is a huge track that's psychotic and richly twanged. The keys brought me to think of Illusions' (Jim McCarty and Jane Relf) "Cruising Nowhere," but with surf guitar. Very cool!

Mystics dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and surf reverb dripping, tremolo drenched, and moody as all get out! "Mystics" lumbers along in perfect rich melancholy. The keys perfectly compliment the guitar. The guitar tone is almost as dark and low as The Centurions!

The Surfing Priests dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and bass rumble, plash chords, chants, and psycho warbles. "The Surfing Priests" is a lumbering monster of forbidden islands and extreme danger. It's beautiful and demented, with very disturbing sounds. In other words, perfect!

S.Q.U.I.D. dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Giant riffs cycle in deliberate churn, with intense second guitar. This song is very edgy, with the sort of intensity that The Bambi Molesters achieved with "Latin'ia," though aurally very different. Stay out of the way of the giant "S.Q.U.I.D.!"

Massacres dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and tremolo throb, with very ominous melody lines and tone. The aptly titled "Massacres" portrays that and more. Very heavy and forbidding.

Oysters Stomp dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Undulating and tribal, "Oysters Stomp" is a splendid surf instro with rich tone and intensity. The arrangement is very strong, making it hard to ignore. The break is very cool! There are places where I was reminded of Pollo Del Mar.

Cyclops dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big cinematic jungle island danger... The "Cyclops" is after you, and getting closer. The middle is very Middle Eastern mysterious and intense. It's a blend of evil and powerful.