Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Crystal Forest - Northwest Surfdotdotdot
artworkOne the one hand, Crystal Forest is a party band, playing corporate events and presenting an impressive list of Pacific Northwest revival tunes. Their set list includes "Louie "Louie" and Dave Lewis' "J.A.J.." On the other hand, they are a working and writing band, and they slide surf instros into their set, some covers, some originals. This cassette only release sports 5 surf originals, and hopefully promises some tasty future releases.
Picks: Backwash, La Nina, Rocketblast, The Reticent Wave, Ghost Party

Track by Track Review


Backwash dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Backwash" is a cool progressional track with a solid mid tempo rhythm, and tasty whammy. The track has a feel that is a cross between grodie mean and soft, with touches of seventies guitar. The vibrato is most appropriate.

La Nina dotdotdot
Surf-Rock Hybrid (Instrumental)

Finally, someone is off the El Niño kick and onto this years weather pattern, "La Niña." It's a friendly track, with a nice melody. It doesn't have much of a surf feel, mostly rock due to the drums. That doesn't lessen its appeal, just sets it into a different camp. The double picked parts are very nice. Crunchy, a bit country, and slightly mean.

Rocketblast dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fastish rock chord progression rock. Lots of energy, but without enough melody to make it more than a backtrack. The lead riff would be adequate if the mix allowed it to be more up front and maybe a little reverbed. The guitar tones are standard rock distortion and crunch.

The Reticent Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Reticent Wave" sports a nifty rhythm, and an overcast Paul Johnson kinda riff, like an imminent shower looming while the top is still down on a rugged strip of coastline. Crunchy, very friendly, and more interesting than any other track here. It's no more complicated, just infectious in its simplicity and rhythm.

Ghost Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with ghostly kitty cries and distant evil laughs under gnarly wind, this rhythmic progression moves into a simple pattern pretty quickly, again suffering from an uncomplimentary mix that fails to feature the lead enough, like as if it was mixed for a rock audience or at a demo studio. The bass solo break is a nice variation, and though the bass merely carries a basic pattern, it creates an interesting side bar to the haunting tune. I can imagine many possibilities for remixing this into a fine atmospheric track.