Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: - The Summer Of 2004dotdotdotdot
artworkThe 2004 edition of summer collection is mighty fine, with bands from all over the planet. Most have appeared before, but a couple see the light of day for the first time.
Picks: Theme For Troubled Teens, On Ta Cabo, Last Days Of Summer, Mystery Prom, Jimmy's New Board, Europe, Eternity, Black Sea Trip, Fir Tree Was Born In The Forest, Hacksurfbrett, Operation H.O.D.A.D., Stalking Mermaid, Little Green Men, Dracula Go-Go!, Chalk Talk, El Diablo, Tijuana Taco

Track by Track Review

Theme For Troubled Teens dotdotdot
Island Tiki (Instrumental)

Slowly leaking sad notes into the night, "Theme For Troubled Teens" seems remorseful, as if mourning the loss of yet another run away. Silky.

On Ta Cabo dotdotdotdot
Closet Surf (Instrumental)

"On Ta Cabo" is a very pretty song, with a gentle flow and fine melody. A little sad, but more wistful and moody, and with an optimistic overtone. There's a chorus that adds a surf holiday feel, kinda like an Endless Summer scene.

Last Days Of Summer dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Slippery airy and floatingly romantic, this track features a distant breezy lap steel under a gently played lead. This song has an instantly familiar feel, not that it's derivative, but rather that it is perfectly crafted in the style you'd expect from the composers of the original exotic era. The island imagery is 20-20. Quite a nice track.

Mystery Prom dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

The class of 2000 whisk across the dance floor slowly crossing from one life into another. It's almost too syrupy, yet it retains just enough genuineness to avoid the abyss of prom dance tunes. Very pretty.

Jimmy's New Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Cocktail Preachers are one of the bands that "get it" abut the rhythmic values of surf. "Jimmy's New Board" is a wonderful, optimistic surf instro that's splashy and fun, perhaps like an upbeat version of the Super Stocks. The catchy melody line and infectious rhythm make for a great track to hit the highway with.

Europe dotdotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

"Europe" is a very pretty song with a fine melody steeped in surf and sad Russian traditional music. Its guarded optimism and moderate pace convey anticipation of the surf that's rising slowly from the soup after a storm.

This mix is clean mono, appropriately mixed for best effect. Quite nice!

Eternity dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a long and flowing piece of music that is like an amped up island voyage. Picturesque, inviting, slightly dramatic, and nicely arranged, "Eternity" is like a vacation with relaxation with tension... that sounds contradictory, but the loudness of the lead guitar and thickness of the bass, along with the strong drums, contrast against a pretty fluid melody with many scenic changes, creates a juxtaposed sound and vision. There are lines borrowed from Hendrix and nods to the power of the electric guitar. A very cool track!

Black Sea Trip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Black Sea Trip" is an aggressive-lite track with drive and edge. A bit Los Straitjackets referenced, this edgy number is bouncy and way fun, with a hint of chicken bop and a dose of surf.

Fir Tree Was Born In The Forest dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big rockin' Ventures beat and chord progressions run under this rockin' track. It's great fun and powerfully energized, like a Los Straitjackets song would be. Infectious and fifties honest, with great drums!

Hacksurfbrett dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is sort of angular and mathematical, like the curl converted into a code of ones and zeros. No, it's not binary, but it is complex and deliberate. The surf guitar break is quite fine!

Operation H.O.D.A.D. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama in a spy flick setting. "Operation H.O.D.A.D." sounds like it's fresh off the celluloid as the credits roll past.

Stalking Mermaid dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sample soft rocker fades in, but then the a classic reverb kick gives away the coming assault. Fast and fun, with speedy double picked leads on high registers over a nearly prancing rhythm track. Playful and sunny, and just like a topdown Saturday afternooner at Malibu. Excellent.

Little Green Men dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Cheesy Theremin warbles a la black and white b-movie sci-fi opens to big chords. But quickly enough, surfable guitar and bongos take control for a while... for a while because the bridges are all cheese, no ham. The big soaring guitar break is like Davie Allan without the extreme fuzz. This is very inventive and fun!

Dracula Go-Go! dotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Engines rev up, the drag race starts, and one cool rhythm takes over. The horns are a bit much - sort of Vic Mizzi-like, yet they seem very appropriate for the song. Jazz monsters with a grin. The surf rhythm is a very cool touch.

Chalk Talk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A restrained Double picked guitar leads the attack against chanting voices. I suppose this is a vocal, but not exactly. Sampled and sequenced, and pumped up, "Chalk Talk" is quite a unique track. In some ways, it reminds me of Thermo.

El Diablo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a riffy instro with a simple lead line that's forward looking and played against moving backtrack. The drums are great, and the rhythmic values high. The mix is a bit murky and mono.

Tijuana Taco dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish lace flows in the breeze of a summer afternoon. A tasteful bit of writing with a sad edge and wistful feel. The distant guitar is on the haunting side due its recessive placement in the mix. On this song, that seems to work.