Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Twangin' Around The Worlddotdotdot
artworkThis 20 track compilation features 6 bands from Japan and eastern Europe playing mostly Shadows inspired instros. Some are very cool, and of course the Spoilers' surfy "Europe" is the highlight of the disc.
Picks: Zero Fighter, Funky Rock, A Passage Of Youth, Poem Of Sea Breeze, Rainbow, Crying Game, Dick Tracy, Burning Desire, Chanson de Danse, Space Walk, Blue Shawl, A Hundred Guitars, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You, Chariot, Piggtrad, Durango, Eg Ser Deg Utfor Gluggjen, Siberia, Memories Of Carpat, Europe

Track by Track Review

Zero Fighter dotdotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

A whammy dipped introduction yields to a fluid melody in the Shadows tradition, and thankfully lacks the just another Hank Marvin knockoff guitar sound. The melody is soft and catchy, and the delivery of the track on the soft side. Quite a nice track.

Funky Rock dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This is a long ways from funk, and a even farther from funky. Lush and delicately picked, "Funky Rock" is quite a pretty track. The melody is quite surfable.

A Passage Of Youth dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"A Passage Of Youth" is a slow and silky number in the MOR tradition, with long flowing echo sustained guitar. Soft and moody, it has quite a Euro feel to it.

Poem Of Sea Breeze dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This is bouncy and playful, with a basically soft rock sound, and maybe a small debt owed to country. Fun and animated.

Rainbow dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"Rainbow" is a soft rock number with a flowing long echo guitar lead in the Hank Marvin circle. The double picked lines are delicately cool, while the rest is more or less soft spy styled.

Crying Game dotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

The organ gurgles under an evolving soft rock guitar melody. Pretty, but unremarkable.

Dick Tracy dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

The throbbing vibrato adds a lot of drama to this cover of "Dick Tracy." Punchy and pulsing dark alley cool. A surf beat behind the Euro spy sounds allows it to cross over into surf. Nice track.

Burning Desire dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

John Barry-ish spy rockabilly all smoothed out and polished. Tastefully done.

Chanson de Danse dotdotdot
Soft Lounge (Instrumental)

"Chanson de Danse" is a little reminiscent of the Aqua Velvets, just less lush and emotional. Vibrato shimmer, a moody melody, and some fine twang, plus a cool flute verse.

Space Walk dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"Space Walk" has a sort of "Last Date" (Floyd Cramer) quality to it, but with a more whammified lushness. Slow, silky, and quite pretty.

Blue Shawl dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Shawl" is soft and pretty, in an electric MOR vein, and sounding very European.

A Hundred Guitars dotdotdot
Moody Guitar (Instrumental)

Very long echo delay on the guitar makes it seem almost eerie, with the period being longer than the decay, giving the guitar and odd swelling sound. Very effective. The track is an odd mix of MOR and space whammy.

Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

The slow soft introduction yields to a twangy Euro cover of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." All the teenage pomp that's required oozes from the guitar.

Chariot dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

"Chariot" is a playful plucky song with a good melody line and a strong Shadows clone sound, amplified with heavier whammy and more delicate plucking. Quite nice.

Piggtrad dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

Big whammy, long echoed delay, Hank Marvin string bending, and a spooky melody. Nice but unremarkable.

Durango dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

Highly Shadows-like, "Durango" flows with a distant view of spaghetti westerns. More or less moody, with a sense of adventure.

Eg Ser Deg Utfor Gluggjen dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

The extremely long tape echo attempts a cactus feel, which lurks just beneath the Shadowsy sound. Kinda cool, but very derivative. The break is cool - sorta like a "Yankee Doodle Dandy" inversion.

Siberia dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

"Siberia" is a very moody piece, with a Russian and aquatic sound, and a Euro guitar long echo delay. Very cool for shimmer and old world sadness.

Memories Of Carpat dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

On the eastern European side melodically, "Memories Of Carpat" is a pleasant track with a tasteful beat and melody line. I had to look twice at the title, first wondering if it was about some interface on the floor.

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!