Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: No Approval Needed Volume 4dotdotdot
artworkThe fourth volume of the No Approval Needed series finds a higher percentage of instros within it's little silver bumps. The over all package is heads and shoulder above the previous volumes as well. Settle in for a bumpy ride among the more outcast acts with edgie and definitely indie sounds.
Picks: El Gato Nuevo, BBQ Gone Bad, Surfing On Mars, Binge and Purge, Spanish Feeling, Blazer, Deadwood, Scene on the Chrome, Big Daddy, History of Rock and Roll, Kamehamha, Wasitu, Sour Pussy, The Duo

Track by Track Review


El Gato Nuevo dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very dark, ultra thick guitar instro that employs a number surfisms among the harsh world of mean chords. It's more repetitious than I'd like, but it has immense power and angst, and there is no defense against the brutality with which it assaults the listener. Strong power surf grind.

BBQ Gone Bad dotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

"BBQ Gone Bad" is an instromatic journey through the land of compressed edgie guitar. It's in the vein of the instro from eighties legends like the Long Riders or the [Surfin'] Smithereens, using a progression in place of a melody, delivered with a slightly surfed distortion driven tone. The song name is great.

Surfing On Mars dotdotdot
Jam Rock (Instrumental)

An organ and keyboard excursion into Arthur Brown territory, with extreme edge guitar licks over the top of the jam foundation. Lots of energy, but no melody. Quite rhythmic and infectious. Party on.

Binge and Purge dotdotdotdot
Horror Film For Your Ears (Instrumental)

"Binge and Purge" lumbers down a path not often traveled, where loungecore and private eye jazz blend into a new recipe for sludgomatic horror throb. Just short of monstercore, this slithers and sneaks in the back allies of your town, looking for a garage to sleep in. It can't decide if it's suave and cool, or dark and sinister. The conflict between the trench coated gumshoe and the sci-fi radiation byproduct ooze from the planet sludge is all too enticing. You can draw a slight parallel to the soundscape of the Reventlos' "King Kong." No surf in sight, but this is a brilliant track, like a movie with no scenes.

Spanish Feeling dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Better than "George," but still not very melodic. Mostly garage, with an occasional surf guitar and too much repetition. The mix is not very complimentary to the music, or maybe the arrangement is just not well throughout. Either way, it doesn't seem to capture my ear.

Blazer dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

"Blazer" is repetitious, but friendly and surf worthy. It chords and rings it's way along, with a basic progression basis, and an urgency that keeps it afloat.

Deadwood dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spaghetti references aside, this track meanders between fast and slow with humor and drama, and implies both Italian westerns and vibrato swirl. The changes are refreshing. It's a far cry from trad surf, but "Deadwood" not only has the feel, Squid Vicious is not afraid to risk the wrath of the trad nazis by venturing into uncharted territory. Nice track.

Scene on the Chrome dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an example of the currently surfacing excursion into the lighter on instro guitarology. The melody line is mostly scale driven, with delicate delivery and vibrato. The second half is a relentless bass-drums solo, which seems too long.

Big Daddy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a thick chord progression thing, that is saved by the weirdness of the inserted sounds and cries of "Big Daddy." Without these, it would be a big so what, but with them, it takes on an air of fun and rises above the discardable. I usually dislike this sort of thing, but found this to be quite fun.

History of Rock and Roll dotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when you don't accept limits, when you eat paradigm shifts for breakfast. These guys start with a drum machine, program a bass line, and then play surf based guitar licks. This is hypnotic sci-fi surf with a Devo mentality. Too much fun.

Kamehamha dotdotdot
Pool Party Surf (Instrumental)

Surf sounds and pool party crasher attitudes bring this fine surf rant to fruition. The drum mix is a little odd, but the guitar work is fiery and inspired, with super-high note flailing and power glissandoes.

Wasitu dotdotdot
Organ Surf (Instrumental)

First off, the organ is annoyingly dominant in the mix while playing a support role. Second, the bass is very boomy. Otherwise, the tune is a progression based party anthem with a surf feel and a fine rhythm. The break is quite nice, with solid twang chords and double picked mayhem at its end.

Sour Pussy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funky jazzy edgie, thin guitar sounds. Mostly a jam-like thing without much direction.

The Duo dotdot
Chord Thrash (Instrumental)

Chord progressions and changing volumes do not make a song. This seems premature and jam-like, with angst but little musical about it.