Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Cosmonauti - Just Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThis Italian surf band has an unusual approach to surf, with solid writing, Italian themes, reverbed Mediterranean guitar tones, and stunningly good writing. Some tracks remind me of the Fireballs in their sound and feel, but that is not an accurate characterization. They have their own style. There's one word for this band - infectious! A fine album.
Picks: First Kiss, Mexico Beach, 7th Level, Secret Agent Man, Blue Surf, Driver, Green Bay, Maserati, [Death Of A] Matador, Exotica Fever, Bad Moon, Sea Storm, Locals Only

Track by Track Review

First Kiss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendidly enjoyable tune, with a tropical sound and wonderful lilt. It's melodic, fluid, and really nicely structured. It's Italian roots show in complimentary ways, giving this a summer holiday kinda feel. It dances across the monitors with energy and playful delight.

Mexico Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This moderately paced tune oozes Mexico, with the addition of vibes, it says tropical with piniata flair and castanets percussion. It's a visual, delightful, and melodic picture of a cantina on a lazy afternoon. Good listening.

7th Level dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine track uses glissandoes and Paul Johnson or Sandals influenced melody ideas with great energy and flair. It captures your heart and your imagination with whammy dipped notes and solid drive.

Secret Agent Man dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty straight cover of the PF Sloane / Steve Barri TV theme from Patrick Magooan's British series Danger Man in it's American syndication under the name, with solid arranging and good tone contrasts. The twin-note lead lines in the bridge are cool. It retains the edge of Johnny Rivers' guitar in the original, but is faster and more playful.

Blue Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Expecting a shimmering surf tune from the title, like the Surfaris' "Blue Surf" or Davie Allan's "Beyond The Blue," I was first lulled into acceptance of the assumption from the first verse, but quickly enough, the pace doubled up, the drive kicked in, and the flying drums and guitars shredded, eventually double picking a solid surf adventure. The hand claps add a splendid pro edge to a potential single. Is this the Patents' tune? Fine track.

Driver dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speedy damped surfisms, swelling surf twang, and a brilliant soundscape. This is not particularly melodic, but it is very infectious and very well thought out. I found it hard to stop playing. I don't know why, but I expected a surf cover of the Beatles' song. Thank goodness it isn't.

Green Bay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thundering drums and playful almost tropical melody elements, and a smooth whammified island sound combine here to deliver a most listenable experience. Happy and imaginative.

Maserati dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a "Music To Watch Girls By" feel, this ode to one of one of the great sports cars drives with the open road top down feel of the Mermen's "Lonely Road," but with pure optimism and more of a sunny afternoon breezy feel. The vibes are too cool!

[Death Of A] Matador dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very cool double picked original with a fiery delivery. It's a bit of a tango and is blessed with twinges of "Malaguena." A very nice low-E pounder - intense and powerful. I like it better here than alone on comps, where it has appeared before. It has plenty of solid energy.

Exotica Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Mexican flavored fantasy plays with laughter the way "Pipeline" plays with the motion of the waves. It is a fast paced, delightfully infectious track with solid drive and magnetic tone.

Bad Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow shimmering introductions, vibes under guitar like the piano in "Pipeline," and a little too much bass out front. This fluid track proudly displays the vibe sound along with the edgy guitar in a very nice combination of contrasting tones. Very fun.

Sea Storm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Italy's I Cosmonauti have created a really cool and moody number here, with a mysterious air and a trad sound. The damped second guitar is spot-on, and the melody is strong and infectious. This is solid driving surf, with touches of "Run Away" drama and the sounds of the surf. This is the sort of thing Jon & the Nightriders might do, though not as well recorded. Solid surf!

Locals Only dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slightly Ventures-ish track, but with more flair and energy. The damped lead plucks out a tasty riff, and the rolling percussion infects you. Nice track, like something from Nashville's outer edges.