Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Cruncher - 2005dotdotdot
artworkThere are several tracks here that are quite compelling. Much of the music is smooth and fluid, and on the mature side. Overall, the production is too much awash in atmospheric reverb, giving it an indistinct and and layered sound that I think hides some of the energy of the performances.
Picks: A Man Called Curse, Algarve, Amapola, Beyond The Reef, Dardenela, The Good Humor Stomp, Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Once, Free Fall, The Last Walk, Moon Shot, Black Eyes, Santa Ana, Stranger From Durango, Teen Scene, The Breeze And I, Lonely Surf Guitar, Yaa Rabbi, Tribute To Gary Usher

Track by Track Review


A Man Called Curse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A thin and distant guitar aurally creates a soundtrack sense. It dramatically introduces a great galloping instrumental that's also been done by the Treble Spankers. The energy and atmospherics are excellent, and the infectious rhythms are just superb!

Algarve dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lush and romantic song with heavily effected guitar and symphonic keys. Island references and misty atmospherics.

Amapola dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional European melody is done with an eye on the surf and lots of atmosphere. Pretty and almost sparkling.

Beyond The Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jack Pitman's classic exotica epic "Beyond The Reef" flows with lush island imagery and beautiful tone. It's quite pretty and very fluid.

Dardenela dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The classic "Dardenela" is nicely played, with a stylistically mature arrangement, and a gentle energy. Very pretty tone.

The Good Humor Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Avengers VI's bouncing good fun "The Good Humor Stomp" is presented in a polished almost Super Stocks sound, though the guitar flights sometimes are more rock than surf. Quite nice.

Guitar Boogie Shuffle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Virtues' classic rockin' fifties instro "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" is played with reverence and the correct energy and rockabilly beat, and in the wash of reverb, it seems to be echoing down a hidden valley.

Once dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The European tendency to play electric guitar melodies with extended tape echo and beauty is well represented here. Pretty, though not really memorable.

Free Fall dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Podolor's glorious "Free Fall" is really nice here. Rhythmic, and with plenty of the haunting ambiance that Podolor used so well with the Devons. Very nice!

The Last Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Last Walk" is another Richard Podolor song. This slow and silky song is made more spatial through lost of layered delay and reverb. The sound is a thick wash of returns, like hearing it wafting through the trees in a canyon.

Moon Shot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' "Gunshot" is retitled "Moon Shot" and muted reverbed to great effect. The thick was of the rhythm track seems to work well here, and the feel of the arrangement is complimentary to George Tomsco' masterpiece.

Black Eyes dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I did not recognize "Black Eyes" right off, due in part to the pomp of the rhythm track and the atmospherics of the production. This is a haunting recording that's on the slower side. Spooky.

Santa Ana dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Shadows song is more interesting to me than the original for various reasons of style-taste. The delicate muted reverb and sustained notes from a surf point of view add a sense of beauty and curl relevance that make this song sparkle.

Stranger From Durango dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

haunting and moody, with a lush and scenic wash of sound. Richard Podolor' "Stranger From Durango" is a slow flowing masterpiece, and the Cruncher brings out the intent well. Very pretty!

Teen Scene dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Hunters' "Teen Scene" is surfed up with damped reverb rhythms and drums, while the melody line remains outside the genre. The contrast actually works very well. This is easily the most interesting of all the versions I've heard.

The Breeze And I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ernesto Lacuona spectacular "The Breeze And I" has often been done hard and fast, and occasionally beautifully slow and sultry. Perhaps the Vibrants version is more emotional and dramatic, but this is more pretty and haunting. Very nice indeed!

Lonely Surf Guitar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This was the B-side of the Safaris lone single on Valiant. It retains the shimmer of the vibrato lead, as well as the pace. A near perfect replica.

Yaa Rabbi dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a wonderful track! "Yaa Rabbi" is a splendidly infectious track with lots of compelling interplay. Rhythmic and enchanting, and quite infectious. I'm a sucker for Jewish melodies converted to surf.

Tribute To Gary Usher dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine interpretation of the Devons' "Untitled Instrumental #2." It's more emotional and atmospheric than the original, and it's very satisfying to listen to. The melody is so compelling on this track, which in some ways was a precursor to "Beat '65." Great track.