Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands - Monsters and Heroesdotdotdot
artworkFirst off, let me state right out of the shoot that there's no surf here. Monsters and Heroes is an incredibly cool and artful rearranging of film scores. Some brilliant arranging, top drawer playing, and inventive thinking all go into this release. The band is Zip Caplan - guitars and Bernie Bomberg - keyboards, backed by a "cast of thousands." Many familiar and legendary folks add their two cents to this very interesting instrumental CD. It's miles from surf in most places, yet has a certain aquatic appeal from it's melodic content and fluid playing. Every track is from a monster or action hero film of the thirties or forties. All are amazingly rearranged for electric guitar. Quite an enjoyable release.

Guests on the CD include members of the Castaways (Dennis Libby), the Litter (Bill Grenke, Joe Scanlan, Mark Gallagher), Crow (Brenda King, Chico Perez, Larry Weigand), Gypsy (Don Larson, Jim Johnson, Stan Kipper), Lamont Cranston (Andy Bailey, Rick O’Dell), Soldiers of Fortune with Jesse Ventura, Bob Dylan and Olivia Newton-John (Bob Strength, Gregg Inhofer), the Stillroven (Dave Berget, Phil Berdahl), the Hypstrz (John “Bongo” Haga), the Underbeats (Charlie Lindley, Don Larson, Jim Johnson, Tom Nystrom), Badfinger (Mark Healey), Copperhead (Eddie Shaw), Lipps, Inc. (Bobby Vandell), the Senders (Bruce Pedalty), White Lightning (Mick Stanhope, Woody Woodrich), and more.

The lone vocal is "Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman," sung by Dave Berget of Stillroven.
Picks: Universal March, Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, Superman Cartoon Theme, Son Of Dracula, The Cisco Kid, The Mummy, Tarzan Finds A Son, The Wolfman, Adventures Of Superman, The Mummy's Hand, Universal End Credits, The Lone Ranger, The Lone Ranger Action Suite, The Lone Ranger Rides Again, Enter The Dragon, Godzilla, Mighty Mouse Theme (Hear I Come To Save The Day), Zorro's Fighting Legion, William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme)

Track by Track Review

Universal March dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Wow, how cool... The Universal Studios logo all done up as a near-surf song. It's not expanded, but surely could be.

Bride of Frankenstein dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

The main riff from the theme to the Bride of Frankenstein film is identical to the opening lines of Bali Ha'i. Spooky and imaginative.

King Kong dotdotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Tribal and dangerous, the main theme to "King Kong" makes a pretty powerful instro. Dramatic and ominous, and very scenic.

Superman Cartoon Theme dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Well done and surprisingly listenable. It's a little on the "cute" side for my tastes, but pretty fun. Incidentally, Nokie Edwards plays lead guitar on this track.

Son Of Dracula dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Big weirdness, island spooky like an Earl Hagen theme, and spiked with drama and dramatic drums. Cool stuff.

The Cisco Kid dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

"The Cisco Kid" is melodic and beautifully done, with twin guitar lead and delicate picking. Changes and subtle technique keep this in the very interesting column. Easily fits ion a surf set with just a little imagination.

The Mummy dotdotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Like the film, this theme is very sad like Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," which is the first movement. Very interesting to see what can be done with this. Very Russian, and very dramatic.

Tarzan Finds A Son dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Danger, drama, rhythmic writhing, and scenic melody lines. Thick and adventurous, "Tarzan Finds A Son" ventures into darkest Africa with a soaring sound.

The Wolfman dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

This suite of themes from the film is hauntingly distant and unsettling.

Adventures Of Superman dotdotdot
Film Score (Vocal)

The 1951 TV theme gets an electric facelift with swelling keyboards and a Hollywood spectacular feel.

The Mummy's Hand dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Unnerving and dissonant, "The Mummy's Hand" is both cinematic and haunting, as well as rock in an operatic kinda way. Intentional and dangerous, it has you you looking over your shoulder.

Universal End Credits dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Brief and bouncy in a forties MOR vein, this is a short and sweet blast from a past future.

The Lone Ranger dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Funny I can't recall this theme, though I watched the Lone Ranger on TV all the time as a kid. Then again, this is the 1938 film score. Bold and adventurous is a rousing save the world kinda way.

The Lone Ranger Action Suite dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

This suite of themes from 1939 and 1949 Lone Ranger films moves from way fun and twisted to nearly aquatic, with many changes as it moves through "Kidnapped," "The Getaway," "Heavy Agitato," "Nightfall," "Desert Riders," and "Mechanical Montage."

The Lone Ranger Rides Again dotdotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

The main title theme from the Lone Ranger films is double picked and is the theme we all recognize. Serious, yet very playful, and quite surfable. Very cool track.

Enter The Dragon dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Lalo Schifrin's film theme is funked and played with in a seventies Euro prog kinda way. It reminds me a little of Phil Manzanera's 801.

Godzilla dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Dangerous and spooky, monstrous and plundering, this main title from the film becomes an inviting and slightly mathematical number with an interesting hook.

Mighty Mouse Theme (Hear I Come To Save The Day) dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Totally playful and more fun than you can shake a stick at...

Zorro's Fighting Legion dotdotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Whip out that sword and carve your 'Z' in the butt of the overlord. Yup, adventure and pomp defines part one. Part two is an adventure is Spanish themes and glorious melodically. This is one of those long overlooked themes that should become a surf classic.

William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme) dotdotdot
Film Score (Instrumental)

Jay Silverheels rides his trusty steed shouting "Hi Yo Silver - Away!." Big fun.