Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Earl and the Losers - Maximum Surf 'N' Westerndotdotdot
artworkThis first demo set from Earl and the Losers shows real promise. Lots of intensity ad energy, some really engaging writing, and solid performances. Most tracks are hampered by amateur mixing, yet the songs sound as if they must be very cool live. I'm looking forward to a well crafted recording that brings out the power and arranging prowess of this band! Watch out!
Picks: Blue Canyon, Escape, John Wayne's Got Blues, Hot Rod, Tucson, The Mexican, White Dust

Track by Track Review

Blue Canyon dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Blue Canyon" is a rhythm driven song with a lot of energy. Sadly, the lead guitar is mixed way down, minimizing the power and hiding some glissando fire. I suspect a better mix would make this shine!

Escape dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More or less a progression based number, "Escape" has some nice arranging concepts and an interesting relentlessness about it. With the melody hidden, it doesn't rise to its obvious potential.

John Wayne's Got Blues dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Twango and whammy chords, swirling organ, spaghetti imagery, and relentless tension. "John Wayne's Got Blues" is a really cool song in need of an out-front lead. The energy and intensity are undeniable.

Hot Rod dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmic pulsing, rock drive, and a very serviceable melody riff that's part rockabilly, part surf, and part rock. The bridge is lifted from Link Wray's "Ace Of Spades." "Hot Rod" is less problematic than the others here from a mix standpoint, though lead left - rhythm right doesn't offer focus.

Tucson dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tucson" has "Moment Of Truth" obvious in its influences on the rhythm guitar's gutty snarl, and it's most noticeable because the lead is so down in he mix. This is another track I'm quite sure I'd really dig if the mix were more sympathetic to the song and performance.

The Mexican dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very good melody line lurks in the wash, and in the bridges, the pulsing guitar is really cool. "The Mexican" is a song layered with intrigue and dramatic whammy chords. It's on the verge of greatness, merely held back by poor engineering.

White Dust dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Kinda rockish and a bit disconnected. I wasn't able to get the focus, and the melody is lost in the mix.