Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Riding The Snowy Wavedotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a totally cool compilation. Twenty seven tracks from Russian bands, some surf, some rock, some spaghetti, some country, some electro, and more. Riding The Snowy Wave is very well put together, and very consistent. Recommended!
Picks: The Barbulators - Surf, Belfast - Lonesome Boatman, Big Frozen - Ol Surf, The Bombers - Whores, B-Sea Surfers - Long Way Home, Electric Gurus - Somnambulistic Dance By Oneself, Freak's Tricks - DJ Jekyll & MC Hyde, Garage Guitar - Staff No. 2, Hula Hoop - Blood Hot Eyes, Kim and Buran - Lost Cowboy, Los Kosmos - Mega Hit, Lost Pelicanos - Spaghetti, Messer Chups - Cat Mobile, Mister Twister - Comanche, Timur Popovkin - Summer Twist, Roman Popov - Old Friends, The Propellers - Let Me Go, Radio Rio - French Fries, The Rattlesnakes - Tornado, The Smoking Booldozers - Paultergeist, The Spoilers - Cha Cha Boom, Spootniks - Along The Cattle Guard, Top Secret - Mission In Spain, Tusks - Elixir, Valerock - Molodezhnaya, The Vivisectors - Shot To Death In Woody Creek

Track by Track Review

The Barbulators - Surf dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This really grows on you. I found that I liked it more as I listened. A simple but excellent melody line and great arranging. Some "oh-oh" utterance verses are silly, yet very cool. Despite its title, "Surf" is a rock instro with catchy rhythm patterns. All fun for sure.

Belfast - Lonesome Boatman dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Lonesome Boatman" is all cowboy rhythm and surf chords, with a great spaghetti western melody line. This is a totally infectious track. Some very good double picked guitar verses, and really strong bass and drums work.

Big Frozen - Ol Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums with roots in ska, thumping bass, and a really cool Russian melody line in liquid reverb. Surf whammy chords complete the song. "Ol Surf" is a treat, with lots of muted lead lines and a totally infectious sound.

The Bombers - Whores dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I can't say that the title has much to do with the sound of the track. "Whores" is a very cool surf instro with a totally not surf beat. Island chords and and a light heart make for great listening.

B-Sea Surfers - Long Way Home dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The B-Sea Surfers play a lot of interesting material. "Long Way Home" is a warm number with a temperate sound and style. Echoed guitar and a gentle beat and rhythm carry you along without objection. This mid tempo song is friendly and very enjoyable.

The Catafalque - On Bends dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"On Bends" is a raucous rock instro that's cyclic and gritty. Lots of dark tone and scruffy energy, with a bit of a punk underbelly.

Electric Gurus - Somnambulistic Dance By Oneself dotdotdot
Inventive Industrial (Instrumental)

Whirring organ and tweaky electronics with a tribal machine beat seem to call to the jungle where robots are assembled by the maniacal mange-iacs.

Freak's Tricks - DJ Jekyll & MC Hyde dotdotdot
Electro (Instrumental)

"DJ Jekyll & MC Hyde" is a highly creative number with tweaky sci-fi weirdness and lots of goofy sounds. That may sound like a turn off, and most such things are, but there's something compelling in the silliness here that makes you grin but keeps you listening. Ample screaming and daydream danger.

Garage Guitar - Staff No. 2 dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo delay-echoed guitars create a swimming pool of ambiance. The haunting melody is refreshing, as is the original production. "Staff No. 2" paints a spooky, yet optimistic landscape where the fog is just burning off.

Hula Hoop - Blood Hot Eyes dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Blood Hot Eyes" is saucy in a late night club kinda way, though it's not R&B as that usually imply. A bit bluesy, rock oriented, and just a bit dangerous. Sax lead and a groovy bass line, with great drums.

Kim and Buran - Lost Cowboy dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmer, acoustic rhythms, and a fine bass-drums backing create a very spaghetti western feeling. Warm, spacious, and easy going. "Lost Cowboy" will carry you down that highway with the top down.

Los Kosmos - Mega Hit dotdotdotdot
Electro Surf (Instrumental)

Cycling weirdness in the intro yield quickly to great drums and bass. Then in a quick reversal, you're listening to a superb bit of electro fluff that suggests what might have happened had Dick Hyman discovered Moog while in a surfband perspective instead of jazz piano. Bouncy and fun, with a good melody and excellent production ideas. Goofy, yet very credible.

Lost Pelicanos - Spaghetti dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

It's not a far cry from the title to the genre, though the production is much more spatial from ambient reverb. "Spaghetti" is dramatic and full, with lot's of tom tom action and moody guitar. The melody line is very cool.

Messer Chups - Cat Mobile dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Totally retarded cat meows ride humorously above this wonderful track. "Cat Mobile" is a very surf track with lovely muted surf guitars and a ton of grins in the writing. Great drums, solid bass, and liquid magic in the glissandos. Incredibly playful and infectious.

Mister Twister - Comanche dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Twang (Instrumental)

Big tortured guitar drama with a nod to Link Wray play out over a great cowboy beat. "Comanche" is infectious and gritty, with a great beat. The drums really make this work via the contrast with the long leaning chords. The bass holds it together. Simply a great romping track!

Timur Popovkin - Summer Twist dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Whirling organ backs haunting Euro guitar playing a melody that's part spaghetti western and part country. The slide guitar lines make it more country than spaghetti. The production values are neither, with lots of ambiance and modern spatial delay. It all adds up to "Summer Twist" being a very solid track.

Roman Popov - Old Friends dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Shimmering with vibrato and rich tone, and augmented with tasteful piano, "Old Friends" is a very pretty song with a sense of drama like the Challengers used on their Around The World album. Very warm, with a sunset feel and beautiful guitar tone.

The Propellers - Let Me Go dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This surf rock instro has the rhythmic coolness of The Sandals early work, but is all modern in approach and sound. "Let Me Go" is infectious and will bring you back. It's traveling style and energy, along with its optimism are compelling.

Radio Rio - French Fries dotdotdot
Electro (Instrumental)

With a beat structure similar to Hot Butter's "Popcorn," this is guitar led, though mostly muted and subdued. The track is all about the electro rhythm, not the melody. very fun!

The Rattlesnakes - Tornado dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Tornado" is a rippin' romp with a cowboy rhythm, surfish chords, and the spirit of British thematic instros of the sixties delivered via the fitting chorus. Aurally, it's not British at all. Rich and rhythmic, with "tornado" muttered occasionally. Very cool!

The Smoking Booldozers - Paultergeist dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Bordering on roots rock, "Paultergeist" is a tuff rock instro with primal fifties roots and modern edge. The melody circles and rips with vintage warmth. If you like The Cadillac Angels, you'll understand and appreciate The Smoking Booldozers.

The Spoilers - Cha Cha Boom dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Cha Cha Boom" is a rock instrumental with spunk and a solid riff. Primal in the sense of fifties b-sides, and some groovy glissandos in the bridge. That said, it has a very modern sound that could easily be a backtrack for a beer ad.

Spootniks - Along The Cattle Guard dotdotdotdot
Chicken Bop (Instrumental)

"Along The Cattle Guard" is very fifties chicken bop rhythmic, with a cowboy beat and melody. The sound is light and thin as many such tracks were all those years ago. This sneaks up on you, gradually bringing on a grin of satisfaction. Very nice!

Top Secret - Mission In Spain dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Gritty and rhythmic, yet light weight, "Mission In Spain" has some really cool arranging ideas, from the beat and bass line ti the guitar lines. The rhythm guitar knows when not to play, and the lead dribbles with impunity. Very fun track.

Tusks - Elixir dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

This is a very moody spaghetti western song with a sad sound. The melody line is fluid and lovely, and the liquid chords that separate verses add an aquatic sense. "Elixir" is a very pleasant track, well suited for a travel companion.

Valerock - Molodezhnaya dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is an easy to listen to number with a catchy riff and very modern arrangement. Effected guitar and a heavily compressed production style make "Molodezhnaya" sound thick and proud. A very nice track.

Valery Shapovalow's music is always interesting, especially when you realize that he was playing Shadows and Ventures based music live in Moscow under the name Red Roza at a time when it could get you a one way ticket to the gulag.

The Vivisectors - Shot To Death In Woody Creek dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slower track is very pretty, with spacious surf chords and a warm afternoon sound. The melody carries you across the dunes to the gently lapping shorebreak. Very nicely done!