Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Carnival Of Souls - Ritorno A Casadotdotdot
artworkWhoa, this is cool. Not much to label surf here, but this instrumental CD is stuffed with interesting variations of and mergers between lounge, country, cowboy, Hawaiian, big band swing, and surf influences. Very well done, both artful and fun, and endearing too. In some ways, there's the feel of early Cat Mother and the Allnight Newsboys, while being a lot more playful and varied. Brilliant guitar work, supported by great drums, very smooth bass, and intriguingly tweaky keys and Theramin. A real adventure.
Picks: Kopfgeld, Ricky King auf LSD, Mr. Aloha, Arriba los Cojones, Die Todeskralle im Lotusgarten, Der Muranenmann, Stardust Gringo, Foxtrottel, Wolf River Marina, Operation Mongoose, Zwergenmadchen, Ewige Jagdgrunde Neuenkamp, Ginsterbusch, Rotorno a Casa

Track by Track Review

Kopfgeld dotdotdot
Heavy Squonk (Instrumental)

Squonky jazz sax, heavy thunder gutty guitar and bass riffin', thundering drums, and fear in every corner. "Kopfgeld" is an interesting exercise in genre bending and creative intermingling of sounds and textures. A little middle eastern, but mostly big and adventurous. maybe a little like a dark version of Pollo Del Mar without the reverb.

Ricky King auf LSD dotdotdotdot
Countryside Surf (Instrumental)

Dripping reverb shimmer, a beautiful melody that might belong as a film score, and rich tone. "Ricky King auf LSD" is a fine track, very listenable and oozing slightly sad countryside scenes.

Mr. Aloha dotdotdot
Steel Country (Instrumental)

Steel and shimmering vibrato, silky notes that are more country than Polynesian, and a playful melody line that hints of Chet Atkins. Interesting track.

Arriba los Cojones dotdotdot
Glandular Surf (Instrumental)

Bouncy and Spanish, "Arriba los Cojones" is a celebration of gusto, or at least it's glandular origin. Pretty fun track, with an infectious melody line, thumping rhythm, and great percussion.

Die Todeskralle im Lotusgarten dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Short, and limited to spooky faraway places, eerie notes, and Oriental scene setting.

Der Muranenmann dotdotdot
Mafia Surf (Instrumental)

Monsters lurk in the shadows, guitars double pick like the Godfather is coming, and the rhythm provides the required pomp. Heavy, fluid, and dark.

Stardust Gringo dotdotdot
Theramin Spooky (Instrumental)

Soft silky guitar notes shimmer, keys subtly float, and delicate picking depicts soft scenes. The theremin wails mournfully in a most eerie way. Moody and moving, and pretty darn unique.

Foxtrottel dotdot
Hokey Pokey (Instrumental)

Put your left foot out, put your left foot back, put your right foot out, and shake it all about... oh, sorry, that's the hokey pokey, and that's about all I know about dancing. It's perhaps apropos given the soft rock big band cheesiness of this prancy number. Can't handle it, though it's fun. Just too cutesy.

Wolf River Marina dotdotdot
Solo Bottleneck Holler (Instrumental)

Bottleneck guitar slithers a sleepy holler tune with ringing harmonics... solo, brave, and pretty.

Operation Mongoose dotdotdot
Tweaked Country Soul (Instrumental)

Great drums come up under murky sfx before bringing in a country tale of checkered table cloths and picnic baskets full of chicken and apple pie. Soft country soul with very cool drums. But wait, there's the big rock fuzz break that shatters the country air while tweaky sounds emote a sense of something's not quite right. Very cool track.

Zwergenmadchen dotdotdot
Country Hoe-down (Instrumental)

Chumpy chunky inner city funky bongo pumpy country fiddley... yup, that's about it. An afternoon hoe-down with rock drums and sparkling cider. I'm reminded slightly of Cat Mother and the Allnight Newsboys' "Albion Doo-Wah" LP.

Ewige Jagdgrunde Neuenkamp dotdotdot
Scenic Country (Instrumental)

Casio percussion slowly boinking before the rise of a soft bottlenecked string bender floats across a warm summer's evening sky. Moody, scenic, and slightly sad. Quite interesting.

Ginsterbusch dotdotdot
Country Funnin (Instrumental)

Rhythmic and bouncy, "Ginsterbusch" is a catchy number with a bouncy country barn-dance quality just south of Bakersfield where Hee-Haw ruled. Fun

Rotorno a Casa dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Killing me softly with his guitar... oh, sorry. Slow country soul oozes from brilliant subtle guitar work. Very nice track.