Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Driving Guitarsdotdot
artworkThere are some nice tracks here, and some so-so tracks too. No real surf, but a few surfable or near surf things that will fit in. All of these bands are from Finland. This seems to be where Laika and the Cosmonauts are headed sound wise. If their new CD Local Warning is to your liking, this may well be your cup of tea too.
Picks: Go Go Slow, Joker's Wild, No Exit, Driving Guitars, The Cruel Sea, Three Guitars, The Mexican, Rock Around The Clock, Walk, Don't Run, I Miss You, Soul Finger, Do You Know Who I Am, Towards The Night, Vision At Campfire, Evening In The Autumn, Motto Wasabi, Green Fields, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Ghost Train, The Whirl - Soita Humu Pekka, Labrador Tea In Bloom, A New Day

Track by Track Review

Go Go Slow dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Ventures' classic go-go period song "Go Go Slow" is reverently covered with a Norse overlay. The weird mix (drums right, rhythm left) and the thick layering give it a surreal sound quite unlike the dry-chop the V-boys applied.

Joker's Wild dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Somewhat aggressive, "Joker's Wild" features fuzz set low in the radar, leaving it with a thick wash of sounds instead of a focus. It's an interesting effect for a new face on this Ventures' song.

No Exit dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"No Exit" gets a thick rock combo treatment. The rhythm guitar is surfable, while the rest of the track is more in the rock instro vein. It's a very listenable track, again in a thick sounding wash. Big drama and pumping rhythm.

Driving Guitars dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This often covered Don Wilson / Bob Bogle / Nokie Edwards composition is done with spunk and charm. It doesn't rise above the plethora of covers, but holds its own well.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the less interesting versions of the Dakotas' "The Cruel Sea." It's thick production does not add to the power, or maybe it's the tendency for Euro bands to leave the lead guitar low in the mix. Either way, it's well performed and spunky.

Three Guitars dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fast and spunky, with a bouncing beat. "Three Guitars" sounds like a million other instros from Northern Europe. A nice melody and echoed guitar a la Hank Marvin.

The Mexican dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Often covered, "The Mexican" lies somewhere in the vast expanse between between the Shadows realm and surf - much closer to the Shadows than the brine. Lots of spunk.

Rock Around The Clock dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a sprightly instrumentalization of Bill Haley and the Comets' hit "Rock Around The Clock." Not memorable particularly, but full of old time energy.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a reverent cover of the Shadows' interpretation of the Ventures version of Johnny Smith's "Walk, Don't Run." Very cool whammy, but otherwise, just a fine version that stays with the pack.

I Miss You dotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

"I Miss You" is nicely done, but not memorable. Middle of the road rock instro in the Euro mold.

Soul Finger dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger" start out with feedback and then launches into a rousing aggro garage affair. Heavy, edgy, and pumping cool, with highly compressed guitar that occasionally drifts into double picked lines. Very cool!

Do You Know Who I Am dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This soft rock instro flows gently down an evening path towards a romantic liaison. Very pretty, but unmemorable.

Towards The Night dotdotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

With sparkle and spunk, "Towards The Night" flows heavily on a light theme. It's an interesting bend of adult contemporary and rock 'n' roll. I can't quite decide if I like it or just get lulled into it but the blend.

Vision At Campfire dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

This is a fun song with a cowboy beat and vibrato charm. The melody flows lightly in circular play. Oh the possibilities!

Evening In The Autumn dotdotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

The Cruels make "Evening In The Autumn" bounce on a rock bed while the lead is on the light side. Heavily echoed guitars splash the melody and rhythm.

Motto Wasabi dotdotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

With the same kind of cycling riff that opens "Don't Fear The Reaper," the Cruels lay down a very nice instro with a catchy riff and circulating break. "Motto Wasabi" is quite a good track.

Green Fields dotdotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

"Green Fields" is backed with chicken bop dry chops, which is perhaps its most endearing feature. Otherwise, it's kind of a faceless Shadows styles song. Adult contemporary.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow dot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

This is an ultra slushy cover of Judy Garland's signature song from the Wizard Of Oz.

Ghost Train dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The drums run fast under this guitar exercise. Full of bouncy energy, but not particularly memorable.

The Whirl - Soita Humu Pekka dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rock drums beat hard under this bouncy and fun song. "The Whirl - Soita Humu Pekka" sports damped rhythm guitar and echoed leads. Quite fun.

Labrador Tea In Bloom dotdot
Adult Contemporary (Instrumental)

"Labrador Tea In Bloom" is an adult contemporary floater that's lush and smooth, Heavily echoed guitar and light weight rhythms.

A New Day dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

"A New Day" is a very pleasant light rock track with a great melody and gentle sway. Very nice.