Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Concussions - Magic Fingersdotdot
artworkFor me, Magic Fingers is a very uneven mix of tracks that didn't stick with me and tracks that brought a grin, sometimes in a novelty sort of way, sometimes from satisfaction. For all intents and purposes, this is a mono album, stereo treated only on occasion with guitar treatment or keys. Only one track is in the surf vein, the rest crossing several vintage genres. I know many of you like frat rock and garagy sorts of things, so if that's you... go for it. I'll pass.
Picks: Allskate, Stiletto, Curb Feelers, Last Regrets And Moist Towelettes, Beach Ball, Tillie The Soiler, Mod Monster

Track by Track Review

Bulletproof dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bulletproof" is based on a simple circular riff, and it just doesn't vary verse to verse. The break is liberated verbatim from an older modern surf instro (title escapes me at the moment). The drum break is the most interesting part of the song. Aside from the effects, the song is mono.

Think Pink dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Raw garage grunge guitar a la fifties b-sides. The riff and sound just didn't stay with me after listening.

Allskate dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Very nice chords and restrained drums run beneath a soft melody played with distortion and a bit of twang chord magic. Sounding fairly vintage in a fifties way, "Allskate" does have a pleasant sound and good melody.

Stiletto dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The melody here is very good. The sound borrows from exotica some, or maybe space age pop, and the trumpet adds more of the vintage feel. Only the tremolo is stereo panned with delay for a spatial feeling. Otherwise, "Stiletto" is a mono track.

Curb Feelers dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

From a tone standpoint, "Curb Feelers" is all blues rock. There is a double picked verse that's almost dry surf. Much of this didn't strike me well, but there are moments where it shines.

Last Regrets And Moist Towelettes dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Last Regrets And Moist Towelettes" has a very nice melody constructed with tentative optimism. The tone is blues rock edgy. I think this is one of the better written tracks here.

Beach Ball dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Cool drums beat under this dirty, fuzzy, garage rocker. It's so fuzzy that its riff rock structure is completely overcome. While not very memorable, it is quite fun. The raspy sax adds a vintage edge.

A Booguru dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo treated fuzz guitar opens this otherwise mono track. The melody riff is very minimal, like a lot of frat rock, but not as frantic or sloppy as that would imply. Still, it's too unchanging for my taste.

Tillie The Soiler dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The goofy melody riff and over fuzzed, almost squirting guitar or keys is catchy in a gimmicky sort of way. This sounds like a cross between eighties keyboard pop and sixties frat rock, with hints of seventies prog rock.

Guitorgan dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Guitorgan" is a jazzy combo number with a fifties R&B structure and harsh keys on the left, which is the only thing separating this from mono. It quickly becomes just novel.

And I Love Her dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a nice version of The Beatles' "And I Love Her." The beat is straightforward, and the tone easy, but distorted. The keys on the left take it out of the mono realm from time to time. I think the drums are the best part of this track.

Mod Monster dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A bit of tremolo on the lead guitar along with fuzz and tremolo on the second guitar give "Mod Monster" a cool sound. The break oddly hints of Ganimian. This grows on you, especially once the muted lines come in, and transition to the harsh throb of the tremolo fuzz. In the end, warbly guitar pans across the monitors. Pretty fun.