Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: NESMA Directory Sampler 2003dotdotdot
artworkDesigned for promoting NESMA artists, this CD-R comp contains some first time on disc bands and lots of tracks from band CD's. A few tracks are ambient sub-demo sounding, but most are solid. One vocal spices the otherwise all instro CD. the badly clipped "Santa Cruz" a.k.a. "Bring On The Surf Bitch" from the Balboas.
Picks: Charm City Surfer, Margarita Meltdown, M, The Mild Bunch Rides Again, Time Tunnel, Knucklewalk, Surf West, Young Man, Espresso Twist, Flight Of The Mosquitos, Cahoon Hollow Hideaway, Flight Of The Serfer Bee, The Mysterious Mrs. Wong, Tijuana Nut Crunch, Zombie Creep, Avenger, 2 Minutes To Live, Bullwhip, Esperanza, Space Needle Stomp, Santa Cruz, Voodoo Spell, Riptide, Correr Las Olas, Crustacean, Pipeline, Pitchfork, Intro, Hybrid Moments

Track by Track Review

Charm City Surfer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well, this is quite a grand CD opener! Great drums, rumblin' bass, and two fine guitars playing an infectious riff off each other with precision. Big whammy, shorebreak, and a very friendly sound.

Margarita Meltdown dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool track, with tribal drums and splashy Mexican airs. The melody line is really infectious, and over this rhythm section, it sparkles. Moody and exuberant, and dramatic too. An excellent piece of music.

M dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"M" opens with the familiar riff from the Edvard Grieg classic "In The Hall Of The Mountain King." Once that passes, "M" becomes a power-centric non-melodic menace that's just too much the same throughout.

The Mild Bunch Rides Again dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A murky mix somewhat hides a whammified surf epic that's fun, if not particularly inspired. The whammy chords are fine, and the arrangement solid. It's just the crappy sound that holds it back.

Time Tunnel dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Time Tunnel" features an interesting lead guitar line, and it is supported by an appropriate organ line, as well as a good arrangement. The performance pulses with energy, but the mix is not complimentary to the song.

Knucklewalk dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Grindy chunka chunka with a very regular meter and a one-note lead, aside from the bridge. makin' the most of minimal elements like idol Link Wray, the Howlin' Thurstons edge their way through this thick and intense track.

Surf West, Young Man dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This spaghetti western is vibrato twangy and very cool, with a fine melody line related like a second cousin to "Secret Agent Man," like might have happened if Enio Morricone had written that TV spy theme. Very fine listening, infectious and memorable.

Espresso Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Power surge and Cossack shouts, a double picked rampage, and pounding surf drums. Big twang, liquid notes, and a touch of the Eddie Angel sound too. An excellent and fun track.

Flight Of The Mosquitos dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fastish and almost cute, the backtrack to "Flight Of The Mosquitos" seems odd until the lead guitar double picks its way into focus, at which time this becomes utterly cohesive. An infectious flight of fancy.

Cahoon Hollow Hideaway dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chunky rhythms, a very playful melody, and great surf sounds. Highly infectious. This has the kind of feel that makes you wanna drive down 101 with the top down. Way cool track!

Flight Of The Serfer Bee dotdotdotdot
Extreme Polka (Instrumental)

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov circular fun-dango "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" is amazing at the hands of these crazies. It's damn hard not to grin while partaking of the honey making within! Yikes!

The Mysterious Mrs. Wong dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A classic Japanese riff opens and carries the song. While it's derivative of the genre stereotype, it's also interesting and fresh. "Mysterious Mrs. Wong" is a fun lady to do the reverb hang with. The band was originally called Mr. Mumps Twang Gang. This demo has surfaced before.

Tijuana Nut Crunch dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tijuana Nut Crunch" is not as Spanish as you might expect. The melody line is more of an adventure than Mexican delight. Some cool string swipes, some gloomy lines, and a bridge that seems like it's from another song. All in all, the track works and seems to flow well.

Zombie Creep dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Having fun with Henry Mancini's film theme, more surfy than Davie Allan's versions, but sloppily delivered. Can you say "party?"

Avenger dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song is based in the tradition of vintage instros with a simple riff driving the track. "Avenger" sports some nice whammy action, and big twang. While it's just a demo mix, the song is quite compelling.

2 Minutes To Live dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Mondo power, huge sound from a stereo wash, and a strong rock assault. There are some surfish guitar lines buried in the mire, and it sure is a tuff song! Think garage riff rock assault with extra edge and more interest.

Bullwhip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and chunky, spirited, whammified, surfy, Southwest imagery, thundering toms, and a goboon of energy, all combine to assault and delight. Did I mention infectious?

Esperanza dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is extremely reverent delivery of Dick Dale's splashy Mexican paean "Esperanza," with lots of aqua-sensibility. Very cool, given it's such a close cover from a Dick Dale tribute band.

Space Needle Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Needle Stomp" is almost fluid, yet retains an air of unnatural action. A little unnerving, yet surfish and stormy.

Santa Cruz dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Voodoo Spell dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While the beat is mid tempo classic surf, the double picked surf guitar lead issues a low-E grumble and big twang. This is an ominous surf grinder with drama and unseen danger.

Riptide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rippin' surf and slam side from the SumpPump Monkeys. It's a grodie riffin' short board fantasy, quick out of the shoot, and pumped for power. The double picked work is very nice. It comes to a crashing end all too soon.

Correr Las Olas dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is highly derivative of the Pyramids' "Penetration," so much so that it uses the extra string swipes that the Ventures added when they covered it. Some parts are original, but the main theme is just to close not to credit the original.

Crustacean dotdotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Marginal sound from what's basically a murky ambient recording buries an otherwise unusual track with possibilities. It's pretty basic, using the kind of progression that frat rock instros employ, but with reverb.

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibes carry the lead in this sultry sub-exotica version of the Chantays' "Pipeline." The solid bass and distant drums create an emotional backdrop for the vibrating planks. Very original and quite cool!

Pitchfork dotdotdotdot
Devil Surf (Instrumental)

Ample spirit and carport attack. There's not what you'd call a melody, but the riff is inspired and nasty, and the guitar flies. Great grimy garage surf, with too much drums and not enough of the great reverbed guitar.

Intro dotdotdot
Devil Surf (Instrumental)

An opener for sure, but full of thrashy surf splash in a garage kinda way, and reminiscent of Vibrasonic's splashy "Secret Agent A Go-Go." Very trashy sound, but something wild going on beneath the murk.

Hybrid Moments dotdotdot
Devil Surf (Instrumental)

An interesting instro is buried beneath distant crappy sound. The lead guitar is almost lost in the room ambiance. Too bad, 'cuz "Hybrid Moments" seems to be an unusual and interesting song with significant possibilities.