Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Charades - Cool Blastdotdotdot
artworkThis is a very nice release. Most tracks are in a polished and lighter mode, though that does not mean without power by any means. It's easy to listen all the way through, and several tracks will bring you back for more.
Picks: Nessuno Mi Puo'Giudicare, Mars Express, Big Spender, Good Thing, We Have All The Time In The World, Nuclear Nightclub, Cool Blast!, It's Up To You, Demure Damsel, You Little Jet-Setter, The Lonely One, New Orleans, True Love Ways, Streaming 'n' Floating, Dancing In The Street, Mouthful Of Sand

Track by Track Review


Nessuno Mi Puo'Giudicare dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An odd combination of surf lead guitar and cheesy organ. Very northern European melodically, and rhythmically as well, with surf guitar over the top.

Mars Express dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mars Express" is a cool song with great surf whammy and glissandoes. The Euro roots under the surf are well mixed with each other here. It's a song with a sense of motion and a compelling sound.

Big Spender dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Big Spender" has a melody that's a mix of "Surf Rider" and an easy listening classic, with great drums and some country string bending. I can't decide if I like it or just admire the combination.

Good Thing dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A decidedly non-surf melody and a reverbed country twang deliver a very happy song with warmth and spunk. "Good Thing" is quite a cool track.

We Have All The Time In The World dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft tribal tom toms and atmospheric reverb present a romantic wash in support of vibrato and shimmer. The melody is spectacular, as is the whole concept. A little murky in some ways, but very cool!

Nuclear Nightclub dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nuclear Nightclub" is like a beach chalet in chaps. The coast meets the cactus.

Cool Blast! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato and great drums, a very surfable melody, and muted second guitar. "Cool Blast!" speaks of a casual trip down highway 1 on a warm summer morning enroute to that perfect spot. Simply nice.

It's Up To You dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fuzz guitar opens with a brief flirtation with Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, then drops into a vibratoed fuzz melody that's a bit Davie Allan with reverb. On the light side, and very pleasant.

Demure Damsel dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Demure Damsel" is as light as the title suggests. Very pretty and fluid, but a ways from rock 'n' roll and surf. Well done, and very nice to listen to.

You Little Jet-Setter dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Swimming and Laika and the Cosmonauts-like, with a does of the Ventures, and a hint of Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. A spiffy track with a few very nice double picked lines and a compellingly friendly sound. Maybe a touch of espionage as well.

The Lonely One dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A vintage rockabilly beat and electric piano support a country-rock meets seventies rock in Nashville for the weekend sound. That may sound strange, but it's the synapse linkage that the song fired up.

New Orleans dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Oh my goodness. What a cool idea. Frank Guida's rock classic, less Gary U.S. Bonds' (Gary Anderson) great vocals and Emmett "Nabs" Shields (Church Street Five) huge kick drum accented in 45 mastering into the biggest boom in rock history. I dare not get started on this band, so back to the Charades. This arrangement works really well, and it's amazing how well suited for instro surf "New Orleans" is. Infectious and powerful, with a big sound.

True Love Ways dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" is a soft and squishy romancer under the twang of the Charades. A simple and pleasant arrangement, with great vibrato intensity in the bridges.

Streaming 'n' Floating dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Streaming 'n' Floating" is a pretty song with a motion oriented rhythm that's quite infectious. This song sneaks up on you, starting with a moderate "that's nice," but escalating to a grin.

Dancing In The Street dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

If Davie Allan played this with a lot less volume than usual, and a backing band with less screaming intensity than the Arrows, it might be like this. Very nice!

Mouthful Of Sand dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Softly rising from a quiet space, unleashed via vibrato and a really solid backtrack, this slow song is both haunting and compelling. A very nice way to close out the disc.