Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
CUTBACK - Hang Sixdotdotdot
artworkThis first pending release shows gentle relaxed arrangements played with some power and creativity. Before its committed to pressing, though, I would suggest remixing the project. Production values do not show the best face of these tracks. I think the songs would rate higher and have much greater impact on the listener with more sympathetic instrumental production. Bass level (EQ) unevenness disrupts the flow, and the harsh left-right guitars reduce the power of their sound. There's more here than the mix allows to come out.
Picks: Shark Pit, Secret Spot, Cutback, Spanish House, Witches Rock, Conan (The Surferian), Voyage Around The Moon, Mr. Moto, Journey Into Darkness, The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt, Apache, Walk Don't Run

Track by Track Review

Shark Pit dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Shark Pit" has a European spy sound to it, with long notes and ringing chords. It's a fine song with a solid and engaging melody. Quite nice.

Secret Spot dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

In the European vein, "Secret Spot" has a vacation sound and feel, with just a touch of adventure around the corner. Smooth and enjoyable.

Cutback dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Cutback" rises from a beat, with bass coming in, then chords, and finally the melody line. It's a very simple song with a very pleasant sound. Mid tempo and slightly moody, with a touch of darkness.

Spanish House dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Big drama, great drums, and a Spanish flavored melody. A little sad, like it might transgress into spaghetti western. Pretty nice track.

Witches Rock dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

On the ominous side, and slightly distant, "Witches Rock" creates a bit of discomfort while rumbling with a dark surf edge. The intensity of the emotion in the lead is not displayed prominently enough.

Conan (The Surferian) dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

A cool song with a fun and power-based stance. The riff is mighty cool, and the twang nearly there. I like the writing and the arrangement, but the mix does not give it the sympathetic sound it needs.

Voyage Around The Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

From the soundtrack to That Thing You Do, "Voyage Around The Moon" (the Saturns) is a great choice of a cover. This is a splendid arrangement played with power and great drums. I like the playing and the whammy chords, as well as the muted rhythms.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Verging on original arranging via tone, yet not far from the source. The light treatment is a nice touch, as is the excellent bass work.

Journey Into Darkness dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Heavy vibrato danger, Euro-spy melody style, and slithery bass merge to create a sad and gently ominous sound. A tasteful track with an interesting dual-lead bridge.

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt" is competently performed and arranged without drifting from the original too much. Simple and easy to listen to.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

With an arrangement that meanders between the Shadows and the Ventures, "Apache" is a gentle journey with tasteful drums. Very nice.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The arrangement on "Walk Don't Run" is fresh enough, and familiar at the same time. It's very rock oriented, moderately paced, and deliberate.