Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Diminished Men - Names Of The Deaddotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a stunningly original disc. It blends horror and surf and nightmare sound bending to create serious images and moods. Very well written and arranged, and limited only by the drums and bass, which are sometimes much too ambient, detracting from potentially monstrous sound and fury.
Picks: Theme For A Rarebit Theme, Accidental Patient, Cloaked In Skin / Cloaked In Madness, Twilight, Concussion, March Of Eyes, Russian Cobra, Organ Lottery, Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death, Rumble Mai Thao, Names Of The Dead, Strangler's Examination, Clocks and Cantrips

Track by Track Review


Theme For A Rarebit Theme dotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Gothic horror and drama allow "Theme For A Rarebit Theme" to rise slowly and cautiously from a graveyard. It's very much a scene much of the time, though it becomes a song with a dangerously slow surf guitar lead. Lumbering and menacing.

Accidental Patient dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid arrangement of "Accidental Patient," full of the kinds of twisted chordage and notes that are required to create the edge of dementia. Lovely and scary.

Cloaked In Skin / Cloaked In Madness dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Big lumbering drama, dark nightmare imagery, and lots of thick ambiance. "Cloaked In Skin / Cloaked In Madness" is very heavy in a dangerously lurking way. The torture violin is superb! Madness indeed!

Twilight dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

This is perhaps the first "regular" instrumental here. A great thumping bass line, solid drums, and a fine lead guitar line create a splendid spooky surf instro. Tortured notes, and stark sci-fi imagery. Excellent!

Concussion dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Based on the hook from "Tell Me Something Good," this song is a lumbering tweaker with a compelling flow and arrangement. The unsubtle dementia adds quite a bit of disturbing and alluring edge to "Concussion."

March Of Eyes dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy surf with a dark side reigns as "March Of Eyes" rumbles along. Heavy and ominous, almost militaristic, with a mathematically correct rhythm. This is quite solid!

Russian Cobra dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Russian themes, bowed mystery, gypsy blood, and strange happenings around the fire paint a curious picture of blood-fevered emotion and disturbed ritual. "Russian Cobra" is a splendid track with serious art and drama.

Organ Lottery dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Like a crazy cowboy's merger of spies and cactus, "Organ Lottery" romps along on a galloping beat somewhere just out of view. Otherworldly, foreign, yet somehow familiar. Really cool!

Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Softly flowing just across the boundary that separates the waking world from the sleepscape of no return, "Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death" meanders between insanity and mere imagination without conscious control. Slow and very moody.

Rumble Mai Thao dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Galloping danger and mental anguish permeate the mind's "Rumble Mai Thao." Big and brutally awake, with laughter and great drums.

Names Of The Dead dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and slushy, with a bit of a sting. Big string bending dementia and jazzy percussion. While "Names Of The Dead" is dark and lumbering, it's also sometimes busy and just off the edge.

Strangler's Examination dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

"Strangler's Examination" is an angular piece with great drums and circular riffs. Mysterious and mythical, like a land just below the radar. Really engaging.

Clocks and Cantrips dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Tweaky string bending and moody bass accompanied by subtle percussion create a nightmare about to happen scene. Haunting and mentally unstable, "Clocks and Cantrips" is also very visual in a dank cell in an abandoned castle kind of way.