Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Evil Fuzzdotdotdot
artworkThere are a number of fine tracks here, but also some real dogs, mostly due to crappy recordings and mastering. I am glad I did not provide liner notes for this project. It's just too inconsistent, and some of it is a long way from paying tribute to Davie Allan, a man I like and whose work I respect a great deal. The three vocals are Skooshny "Angel with a Devil's Heart," the hilariously pompous "Born Loser's Theme/Polyurethane" from Las Vegas on Mars, and "White Man Beware" from the Phantom Surfers, the worst track on the album.
Picks: Action on the Street, Blue's Theme, Bongo Party, Born Loser's Theme, Chopper / Fender Bender, Corridor of Fear, Cycle-Delic, Dark Alley, Encounter, Fuzz Theme, Gunslinger, Invasion of the Body Surfers, Left Turn on Arrow Only, Little Big Horn, Mind Transferal, Oleaje, The Rebel (Without A Cause), Shape of Thinks to Come, Surf Trek, Theme from the Unknown, Tomahawk, Unknown Rider

Track by Track Review


Action on the Street dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Al Perry always rocks with a nasty garage edge. He does a very respectful cover of "Action on the Street" with dirty guitar and drama.

Blue's Theme dotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

This is a trashy version of Davie Allan's signature tune. The stereo lead guitars add grating edge to an already intense song. Dirty fuzzy, and aptly noisy. Mighty fine.

Bongo Party dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

This is a fair version of "Bongo Party," with cool bongos and mushy sound. The fuzz is great, natch!

Born Loser's Theme dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

USK, a band I usually like a lot, play with their usual skill and flair, but a great performance is marred by atrocious lo-fi sound. It sounds like re-channeled stereo from an ambient recording. Sorry guys, but this doesn't make it.

Chopper / Fender Bender dotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Terry Ware has done a respectful engaging tribute to Davie Allan. The drums are great, the bass solid, and the guitaristry wonderful. The fuzz is a little low in the mix, yet that seems to add a kind of surreal quality.

Corridor of Fear dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

A little murky sounding, but the intensity of the eighties guitar hero tone and sustain gives "Corridor of Fear" a dream like quality, like a nightmare you can't awaken from.

Cycle-Delic dotdotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Oh those insects! This is a faithful rendering of "Cycle-Delic" with all the demented guitar effects and intense distortion required. The Insect Surfers are well acquainted with Davie Allan via performances on the same bill, and they certainly have this monster down!

Dark Alley dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Very murky sound washed out in reverb and distant ambiance hide what is likely a fine performance. Too bad about the production.

Encounter dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Spatial and progressive metallic, "Encounter" is way too atmospheric and doesn't seem to me to portray Davie Allan's music very well.

Fuzz Theme dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Really thin crappy sound hides a great band's version of "Fuzz Theme." What were they thinking? The performance is great, but what a mess the sound is.

Gunslinger dotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Kim Humphreys always brings a big guitar drive to anything he does. "Gunslinger" is heavy and thick, with great guitar chunk. While definitely not a copy, his style nonetheless honors Davie Allan well. Very cool!

Invasion of the Body Surfers dotdotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

I'm sure Davie Allan is pleased with this. Adequately fuzzy and dangerous, with grimy pickslides. Totally wonderful! The Berzerkers have long been one of the Bay Area's best kept secrets. With only one album after two decades in various forms, it's always great to have another instro from them. Enough dirt in the guitar Dino?

Left Turn on Arrow Only dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Horrid boomy sound covers up a solid version of "Left Turn on Arrow Only." The performance rightly fuzzes out the song to good effect. It's just the audio that doesn't make the cut.

Little Big Horn dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Great drums bump and grind under dark and dirty fuzz guitar. "Little Big Horn" is one of Davie's epic's from the eighties. There's digital white noise on the track, (maybe from DAT transfer problems), and it destroys and otherwise excellent track. Four stars for the track and no stars for mastering.

Mind Transferal dotdotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Thunder and lightning, dark and dangerous, and intensely menacing. This is one of Davie Allan more overlooked instrumentals. Soaring guitars and evil tone. Great track!

Oleaje dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Spatial keyboards, distant fuzz, and boomy reverb. The guitar work does justice to the song, and the ambient chamber sound seems to enhance the idea some.

The Rebel (Without A Cause) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Longboard Ranch brings "The Rebel (Without A Cause)" into the surf realm quite effectively. A band that usually records so well has cut an ambient nearly mono recording of a great performance and arrangement.

Shape of Thinks to Come dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Cocktail Preachers's unique sound transforms "Shape of Thinks to Come" into a surf epic. Sparkle and splash, though a little dull sounding.

Surf Trek dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Big keys, a dark drone, then boxy drums and distant big stadium guitar. Surprisingly enough (to me at least), it all works pretty well here. Lots of intensity and requisite style.

Theme from the Unknown dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Dark and murky, and very much garage, the Unknown play "Theme from the Unknown" with abandon and evil thoughts.

Tomahawk dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

While somewhat murky, Knuckel Drager's take on "Tomahawk" is entertaining and appropriately dark. Thick and menacing, with very nice guitar work and drums. A couple of mastering glitches add pops and clicks to detract from the track.

Unknown Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The wonderful Razorblades play a beautiful surf rendering of one of my favorite early Davie Allan songs. Starting out lush and romantic, it quickly becomes a pounder. Lots of fire and power here. Solid guitar and bass and drums throughout.