Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale - Spacial Disorientationsdotdotdotdot
artworkWay past due, here's Dick Dale's new CD. It's about half the Dick Dale we all know and love, and half spectacularly good acoustic guitar instros, plus three vocals. Dick has entered some new territory here, and while it may be different than you expect, I must say it's a very powerful CD. The classic "Dick rock" sound tracks are great, of course, but it ends up being the backwards psych of the title track and the acoustic precision and liquid grace of the acoustic tracks that are most endearing. Dick was worried the critics would hate it, and some may, but think artists are always better off following their own lead than market dictates. There's plenty here for surf fans, and plenty more to boot. A great CD.
Picks: The Eliminator, HMFIC, Haji, 3013DD, Smoke On The Water, Belo Horizonte, Spacial Disorientations, Oasis Of Mara, Haji (acoustic), Front Porch Blues, Mexico / Esperanza, Yours, Silent Night

Track by Track Review


The Eliminator dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lumbering behemoths attack, wiping out everything in sight. This is dramatic and metallic, with an ominous darkness and mean edge. Almost demonic, "The Eliminator" takes no prisoners.

HMFIC dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

High kick low-E shredding presented via a relentless one-note assault. that might sound dis-interesting, but remember this is Dick Dale. His sound and drive makes gives this so much power that the fire fight becomes the message. Pretty tuff.

Haji dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Middle eastern drama and rhythm and military precision, "Haji" is a big, make that a huge adventure in the Bedouin desert. Danger all around, yet alluring. Very cool!

3013DD dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great double picked DD guitar, mysterious guitar lines, middle eastern influences, and the rolling thunder of Ron Eglit and the best drummer in surf Dusty Watson provides an immense foundation for Dick Dale's guitaristry. An adequate supply of those Dick Dale glissandoes pepper the track.

Smoke On The Water dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long suggested as potential surf material, Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" gets the full monte of shred and assault. Very strong and chilling.

Belo Horizonte dotdotdotdotdot
Mariachi Surf (Instrumental)

This is a surprisingly pretty Spanish instro with clean guitar played with delicate precision and fluidity. Mariachi trumpet adds to the mix, and the infectious melody sneaks right into your psyche. Very enjoyable!

Spacial Disorientations dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Backwards guitar spooks the opening, as does a bit of feedback. The hair stands up on the back of your neck. It's like a cross between the Mermen, Renaissance's "Raja Khan," and the liquid dreams of an espionage exchange gone awry. Completely unlike anything Dick Dale has done before, and very moody. Gradually, a grumbly low-E double picked line comes in to tantalize and intimidate. At about three minutes, percussion and bass are added to the howling mix. As it gets more rhythmic, it also gets more mysterious. It settles with middle eastern lines played backwards. Very cool track!

Oasis Of Mara dotdotdotdotdot
Acoustic Surf (Instrumental)

The wind blows gently under this beautiful acoustic track. Spanish, sad, crisp, and very nice. Dick's acoustic playing really shows his skill well. I'd guess this would also be a monster of surf glory in full electric reverb. Simply perfect.

Haji (acoustic) dotdotdotdotdot
Acoustic Surf (Instrumental)

"Haji (acoustic)" is so suave! Rhythmic, pristine, sparkling Spanish guitar, acoustic glissandoes so delicate they pour like sugar. Stunning!

Front Porch Blues dotdotdot
Acoustic Blues (Instrumental)

A slow acoustic so crisp and liquid it'll make you cry. Very smooth and almost slithery. Dick's "blues grunts" while he plays remind me of Jimmy Reed.

Mexico / Esperanza dotdotdotdotdot
Acoustic Surf (Instrumental)

Bob Moore's "Mexico" and Dick Dale's "Esperanza" are a affect pair. Melodic and infectious, this is a very suave combination played with real style. When there's only the acoustic guitar, you can really hear every nuance of his talent. Great stuff.

Yours dotdotdot
Acoustic Mariachi (Instrumental)

This is very traditional Mexican acoustic guitar, like a mariachi piece without the horns. It may border on MOR because it's so pretty, but it bears listening if only to appreciate the delicacy and romance of it all.

Silent Night dotdotdotdot
Acoustic Christmas (Instrumental)

This is the first time I've heard Dick Dale do a Christmas song. Not entirely sure why it's here, but it's about as pretty as it gets.