Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instrobeatdotdotdotdot
artworkRich Hagensen has gathered up a number of bands from the Vancouver, BC scene. 25 tracks of instrumentals include new material from the Surfdusters, Ralph Johnston and Mark Brodie. Styles vary enough to keep it flowing, and many of these bands have either not gotten outside the scene much, or are first issued here. Only a couple of these tracks have appeared before. This is one collection you should go after.
Picks: Drive, Lost In The Moon, Wart Party, Tombstone Twist, Wake Up, Roy The Cajun, Terror Pipe, The Sunset Flip, Hodad, High Lonesome Cactus, Barracuda, Tsunami, Planet Of No Return, Bloodhound, Trainwreck, Pacific Wave, Ripped On Surf, Silo, Eight-Ball, Desert Blade, Bandito Stomp, Motor Oil, Attack Of The 50 Ft. Surf, The Gristler, Rock Me Tender

Track by Track Review

Drive dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Revving up those engines, chunking up the reverb guitar twang chords, then the Surfdusters launch into a riff dominated instro with similarities to Neil Hefty's "Batman," but with much more intrigue than such tunes usually have. Powerful and fun, "Drive" is a spirited romp down the highway of no return. Way fun.

Lost In The Moon dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and saucy as only Mark Brodie seems able to do, "Lost In The Moon" is a brilliant track with a sad melody and delicate tone. It's been too long since Mark has sprung new tunes upon us. It brings chills to the back of my neck! Totally cool.

Wart Party dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Cool percussion, subdued throbbing vibrato guitar playing a riff (nearly) from another instro, overbearing organ, and a solid bass. More riff rock than melodic, but this demo recording has quite a bite and adequate punch.

Tombstone Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This rock instro sports big punch and a sorta spy-like melody line. It straddles the fifties roots rock sound and surf, and strains it through the garage. Some fiery glissandoes and lots of echo.

Wake Up dotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

Cowpoke ramblin' music. Melodic and fun, and mostly rodeo bound. Light twang, pretty, and endearing to the pickup truck set.

Roy The Cajun dotdotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

Once a fixture on the Austin scene, Evan Johns occasionally did some fine instro work in those times. This is melodic in a nerve damaged kinda way. Uncomfortably edgy, lumbering and brooding, "Roy The Cajun" will tweak your fancy if you're not looking for surf and recall the wonder of "Where'd Ya Get That Bruise."

Terror Pipe dotdotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

The Reverberators, but they seem to have the thunder and dribble of surf down. "Terror Pipe" is rock-solid, though a little demo sounding. Great guitar and sax work, and thundering angry tube power. In some ways, it sounds a little like the Surf Raiders used to.

The Sunset Flip dotdotdotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

I love these guys. 'Bout time they issued some new power surf. Inspired by the power chords from "Jack The Ripper," driven by glorious damped reverb, and underpinned by fine bass and drums, "The Sunset Flip" is a monster of power and drive.

Hodad dotdotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

Surf thrash a la eighties LA punkoidal power chop. The lead riff is very appropriate for the style, is quite surfable, and delivers the image of shortboard ecstasy. Nice track.

High Lonesome Cactus dotdotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

The Deadcats' surfiest thing to date, reverbed marvelously over a rockabilly beat, and shimmered into tubular righteousness. About two verses in, I found myself grinning. A fine track, with a very nice melody.

Barracuda dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A faster chunkier more rhythmic track, with a happier melody line. Fun, and more infectious than most here.

Tsunami dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A moody surf melody and interesting arrangement, an infectious writhing rhythm, and a haunting sound. A fine instro, though it seems over compressed to me (probably to reduce the impact of drums too high in the mix, or perhaps captured off-air), and that seems to have sapped some of the life from it.

Planet Of No Return dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A chumpy beat under a playful riff. Pictures of bulbous hodads lumbering across an alien landscape come to mind. Dribbling double picking in the middle, and a non-Fender reverb and guitar tone. Overall, a very cool track.

Bloodhound dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hard rock thrash and burn riff rock. Despite a few buried glissandoes, the raw edge and backtrack structure keep it from moving into surf territory. Non melodic, like a chord structure for a song.

Trainwreck dotdotdot
Riff Rock (Instrumental)

Cheesy organ, rockabilly drums and walking bass, and rootsy guitar in a jammy setting. Riffs without melody, but with plenty of fun as an in-betweener for a bar-b-que set.

Pacific Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pacific Wave" sports the kind of melody line that Evan Johns is famous for. That Big Guitars from Texas twang and flowing open country drive sound complete this track.

Ripped On Surf dotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Surfable rockabilly driven by riffs, with some nice flourishes. The sax is perhaps the highlight.

Silo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cowboy rhythms and distant reverb guitar in a murky mix. Some nice changes and interesting arranging, coupled with solid playing and interesting ideas, deliver drama and adventure, but are held back by the murky sound.

Eight-Ball dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thin sound hampers what is truly fine instro with two surf guitars. Mark Brodie's melody sense has always been the art of bringing every ounce of beauty out of simplicity. Riffs that are memorable and melodic, developed to perfection through rich arranging.

Desert Blade dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ralph Johnston (Ralph and the Garage Surfers / Unknowns) has been driving Quonset for a number of years, but this is the first time I've been able to actually hear them. Great drums, angular guitar work, infectious rhythms, and disquieting writing. "Desert Blade" is not for a peaceful afternoon among the chaparral, lest your next stop be the loony bin. Quite cool.

Bandito Stomp dotdotdot
Riff Rock (Instrumental)

"Bandito Stomp" just never develops beyond riff rock. There are splendid moments when the sax comes in, but it's just not more than an instro filler between vocals, if you know what I mean. The drums, on the other hand, are great!

Motor Oil dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Need an oil change? Not extra here. The band has put the dip stick in, and come up rich in vibrato and shimmer. Punchy and chunky, fluid and surfy, sunny and warm. A very nice track.

Attack Of The 50 Ft. Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool track. The Surfdusters bring interesting percussion and surf riffology together for an afternoon drive along the coast in search of a perfect summer set. Very nice track!

The Gristler dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Big Link Wray style chord rock, with lots of power and edge. While it's ultra simple, the life and lumbering grope of it all makes it very cool. Thick and intense.

Rock Me Tender dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and soft, "Rock Me Tender" flows with near liquidity down a gentle slope towards the sea. Almost islandic, with warmth and style. A very pleasing way to end the CD.