Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Smoke Signals [Soundtrack]dotdotdot
artworkEvery once in a while an absolutely refreshing film comes along. I was dragged to what I expected to be a politically correct piece about the hard life of a reservation Indian. Instead, Smoke Signals is a magnificent film by Indians about Indians told through the eyes of an unlikely pair who travel from their despair to who they are inside. It's a moving story of the human condition, told with humor and reverence through the relentless love of a friend. Musically, it has some gorgeous guitar based numbers, none of which are even remotely surf, but surely satisfy the dramatic and emotional side of you. Indian tom toms and wailing voices, and lots of scenic clarity, often haunting and dangerous. Some vocals here, mostly quite good. The chant "John Wayne's Teeth" is a priceless bit of humor. Most tracks are by BC Smith.
Picks: Fry Bread, Hippy Arnold, Journey Begins, Alternate Gymnast, Good Day For Breakfast, Breaking Bottles, Arnold Leaves, Clobbering Thomas, Super Thomas, Charles Bronson, Fry Break Riot, Jesuit Basketball, Trailer Haircut, Victor's Run Suite, That's My Father

Track by Track Review


Fry Bread dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

This is a very slow and beautiful guitar piece, with a little reverb and plenty of sadness. It's not that it would fit into surf exactly, more like pre-synth Jade Warrior on an Indian reservation. Very moody.

Hippy Arnold dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Semi psychedelic and definitely haunted, "Hippy Arnold" moves gently through the scenic planes of Native American tribal reverence, with very tasty drums.

Journey Begins dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Moody distant guitar and keyboard bass, significantly sad and airy. By the time the drums come in, it takes on a more modern rock feel, a little pompous, yet still delicate and interesting.

Alternate Gymnast dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Sultry guitar and jaws harp... very short.

Good Day For Breakfast dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Mystical and misty, open and airy, and very short.

Breaking Bottles dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

"Breaking Bottles" is not crystalline or crackly. It is spatial and a bit foggy.

Arnold Leaves dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Indian percussion, heavy tones, and the danger of the unknown lurk within. There's a sense of adventure and foreboding. Dramatic and magnetic.

Clobbering Thomas dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and bass thunder, with distant guitar in an angular and dangerous number full of sadness. The feedback at the end gives it a certain edge.

Super Thomas dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Big rock ethics and Indian wailing, more large hall anthemic than tribal.

Charles Bronson dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Thundering tom toms, haunted aboriginal flute, a fatalistic melody, and funeral drums present real emotional power with art and sensitivity.

Fry Break Riot dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Fluffy acoustic and electric guitar and keyboard, moody ambiance, and optimistic spring breaking. Not melodic, but a tasty backdrop.

Jesuit Basketball dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Piano and flute and guitar, together is a distant sad scenescape, with a sense of a new beginning crossing paths with despair.

Trailer Haircut dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

A little feedback, some metallic tone, nervous anticipation, and dangerous sounds... a backdrop for an dark mood.

Victor's Run Suite dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

Long haunted guitar notes in a slow tortured number based in big rock sounds. The hybrid of the flute and stadium guitar is like Jade Warrior strained through the Gondwanaland Project. Chants bring it to life.

That's My Father dotdotdot
Indian Scene (Instrumental)

This delicate piece brings forth the slow acceptance of a father who long ago abandoned the son. The story told is one of reconciliation and discovery of the part of his life that was unknown to the son. Very moving.