Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Clams - Acting Shellfishlydotdotdot
artworkThere are some nifty things here. I'm guessing that this band is fun live, with their tongue firmly planted in their collective cheeks. The Clams continue to show promise. There are some diamonds in the rough here, just waiting to be fleshed out. The production on this CD is not very complimentary to the songs, with relatively ambient drums, guitar left and bass right, and the playing sometimes pretty stiff. The arrangements are also not very well developed in most cases. I sure like the picked bass!
Picks: International Clam Of Mystery, Ride The Clamovan, Clam Of Evil, Iron Clam, People Get Ready, Clam Nebula, River Of Tone, Diggin' The Clamdiggers, Bivalve Beach

Track by Track Review


International Clam Of Mystery dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Picked bass and light island chords support a slightly jazzy espionage melody. Reminiscent of parts of "The Shag-A-Delic Austin Powers Score Medley," "International Clam of Mystery" is a really fine track with a perfectly spy-spoof sound. Very enjoyable.

Acting Shellfishly dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A borrowed riff, catchy fun rhythm and percussion, and viola!, you've got a very fun surf instro. The melody is not very surf-like, but the tone sure is. "Acting Shellfishly" is a fun and moderately paced track.

Jim And Tonic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line is derived from the rhythm line to "Music To Watch Girls By," but is moody and brooding at times. While fairly unchanging, it is nonetheless and interesting variation with very cool drums.

Ride The Clamovan dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Melancholy surf slowly portrays gray swirling brine against the rocks. "Ride the Clamovan" is a low key number with pretty cool melody riff. You can imagine this behind surf footage.

Clam Of Evil dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow moody bass and distant whammy chords set up a dank image furthered by the melody line, at least until it revs up the speed. Chunky glissandos and plenty of reverb create surfability. On the dark side with spunk.

Iron Clam dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" is darkly churned out with a grin. It's a little stiff, but that adds to the humor. I don't want that to sound negative. "Iron Clam" is very cool.

People Get Ready dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" works amazingly well in the reverb tank! The melody serves surf quite naturally. A little mechanical at times, yet very enjoyable. Great idea.

Surfabilly Shake dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This has some very interesting surf elements, and a melody that's very much in the rockabilly camp. Lotso 'verb for you.

Lonely Bull dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sol Lake's "The Lonely Bull" is done with gentility and a grin, induced by the chorus and handclaps. The arrangement is basic, yet warm and endearing. It's a low key version with a touch of spunk.

Return Of The Attack Of The 9th Clam dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Return Of The Attack Of The 9th Clam" is a very riff rock kinda track, amped with glissandos and melody-sync bass. Great drums.

Clam Nebula dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of surfable goodness here. The melody riff seems very vintage, and the abundance of glissandos adds to the mystique. Grumbly and dark and dangerous like being dragged into the rocks.

Whomp 'em dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a semi-fast number that's kinda jammy. There are some nice fills, but the guitar is really too unchanging.

River Of Tone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bass line is very cool, and the drums work very well with it. The guitar riff is circular and engaging. The whammy is demented and creates an uneasy feeling. More changes and better production would add to the appeal of this track.

Diggin' The Clamdiggers dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a soft, easy going number. Rich tone balances against keyboards that suggest 1966 San Francisco. I found that I liked "Diggin' The Clamdiggers" more as it went along. Mysterious and optimistic.

Bivalve Beach dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bivalve Beach" is kind of "Endless Summer"-like from a rhythm and appeal point of view. This is a very pleasant track that will bring you back. It is perhaps the most developed track here, and shows the most potential too.