Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Michael Clarke and Greg Anderson - Curls Curls Curls featuring Michael Clarke and Greg Andersondotdot
artworkThis release has much better surfability than the companion release (Michael Clark & Hawthorne "Liquid Moonlight"), but it still is little more than a studio imitation of surf. A lot of it has the value of a jam, i. e. not much. Still, some tracks are ok for a surf set, and one or two could even be properly done by a real band. The sleeve boasts "Surf Instrumentals From Another World." The question is, which? It also shouts out "50,000,000 Surf Fans Can't Be Wrong." Wrong about what? And where did they find them all? Oh well, it's probably part of their "Planet Surf - Rock The Wave" nonsense.
Picks: Curls In The Surf, Curls Curls Curls, Deep Purple Sunset, The Straits, Memphis Waves, The Road To Hana, Heavy Surf, Moonlight Surf, Mad Surf, The Curl, Moondawg, Pipeline Kid

Track by Track Review


Curls In The Surf dotdotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Not a bad track, given the programmed nature. A good melody, a reasonable lead guitar sound, and dry chop rhythm guitar. It would have been nice if the bass was more than two notes (not played in the same line). After not very long, it gets tedious due to the lack of changes, but it still survives as an OK track.

Curls Curls Curls dotdotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Like a demo from a band that hasn't quite figured out what surf is, this bears some of the trappings, but lacks much of the spirit. Like having all the pieces without the instructions, the result is likely to be less than correct or optimal. The beak is a really boring drum and bass continuation. The guitar work is not bad. The keys are out of place.

Deep Purple Sunset dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Well, nearly Deep Purple structure and organ dominates this track. Maybe that's the inspiration for the title. The guitar line is not only boringly repetitive, but the licks reflect a complete lack of "get it" about surf instros. It's just rock, and it's not particularly well done at that. It's really too long, and a boring jam.

The Straits dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Naming songs after watery places is not a sign of capturing the surf in your music. This blues-like thing is without any relationship to surf. It is too long, without melody, and boring.

Memphis Waves dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Now, there's a surf title for you. From the opening slow drum sequence through the wandering bass line right into the jamming piano-guitar substitute for a melody, this track just says studio jam. A groove with no direction.

The Road To Hana dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Cowboy whine in the guitar, basic jam backtrack, minimal melody... what more do you need... MELODY and SURF, that's what.

Heavy Surf dotdotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

The basic concept is good. The guitar is played on the low-E, there are whammies, and the backtrack is sorta Indian thump. The melody is good, and the textures are good. It's pretty dry, but still surfy. Must have been an error.

Moonlight Surf dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Slow unremarkable MOR filler.

Mad Surf dotdotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Actually opens with a glissando. The lead is quite dry, the rhythm is too prominent when it strikes whammy chords, and the reggae organ is oddly interesting, but there's a weird draw to the damped and dull double picked lead guitar. I found this to be somehow intriguing, except for the lame drum machine. It has a decidedly ventures sound to it, with a "Diamond Head" influenced guitar break.

The Curl dotdotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Double picked dribbling on a nice melody line. If this were just played with a little feeling and energy, it would be a good surf track, but alas it is quite reserved. The bass and drum machine solo in the middle is just a jazz jam with little relation to the rest of the track. Odd.

Moondawg dotdot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

Oh no! the New Age rock SoCal nonsense strikes. Sorry, but this has no relationship to surf at all, and is not interesting.

Pipeline Kid dot
Drum Machine (Instrumental)

So, since writing credit is taken, I have to assume the very slight differences between this and "Pipeline" are not mere getting the melody wrong, but more intentional rip off, 'cuz it's too close for mere inspiration. The breaks are different, and the rest of the track is a boring jam, but... never mind, this sux.