Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Chris Eckes - The Aqua Marinedotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a solo project of former Aqua Marines guitarist Chris Eckes, who played all the instruments and produced the recording. Unlike many such sessions, the songs are well written, mixed like a whole band was on hand, and display excellent arranging. Marvelous!
Picks: Cannonball, Theremoon, Prang!, The Pearler, Chain Link, Maverick's Revenge, Heartburn Pt. II, Death Ride, !Guadeloupe!, Interstellar Limitations, Deception, Chroma, Road Hypnosis

Track by Track Review

Cannonball dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked moody surf with a dark underside and big curl sound. "Cannonball" is a well developed surf instro with power and a cool melody line. Lots of glissandoes and flair.

Theremoon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pretty song with a fluid melody line that's double picked and slithery, almost as if it were written for Theremin, which maybe why the title is "Theremoon," or perhaps it's because the Theremin comes in towards the end and dances across the song. Sunny and adventurous, the song is inviting and very pleasurable, with a motion inducing rhythm. Great for the open road.

Prang! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moody gray morning in search of waves... "Prang!" contains a bit of danger, and a sense of searching with optimism. Thick and solid, conjuring images of post-storm green chaos settling gradually into well shaped tubes. Quite nice!

The Pearler dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Pearler" is a fine original with quirky rhythm blending middle eastern and ska elements. Delightful damped reverb against whammy chords in a powerful yet gentle format. Quite infectious. From Chris' days with the Aqua Marines.

Chain Link dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little whammy, a touch of long drifting chords, a sense of Link Wray in a cove, and you get the idea. Minimalist surf with a sense of danger. The lead guitar is buried under the long rhythm chords, but below lurks a powerful tune. This is a song brought forward from the Aqua Marines.

Maverick's Revenge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An original with splashy reverb and an infectious melody line. It rises and falls like the sea, with a solid surfability and drama. The writing is excellent, as is the arrangement. "Maverick's Revenge" was originally cut with Chris' band the Aqua Marines.

Heartburn Pt. II dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Heartburn Pt. II" splashes without the unpleasant side effects of indigestion. More or less thick and rhythm dominated, but with a good melody riff that's on the dark side, except for the bridges, which are more splashy and optimistic.

Death Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic, dangerous, harsh chord powered in paces, and relentlessly double picked. "Death Ride" is a fine song with an excellent break and drums. The energy is dark and commanding, and the danger is quite evident. The title befits the song.

!Guadeloupe! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ska chop chords, a prancing lead melody, and a very infectious sound. It's adventurous and splashy, playful and enchanting. Lots of energy and plenty of changes to keep it interesting.

Interstellar Limitations dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A glissando opens "Interstellar Limitations" to a double picked, rhythmic and thick song with a sense of anticipation about what lies ahead in the darkness of the interstellar expanse.

Deception dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moody in a slightly spy sort of way, and with slow dramatic shimmer, "Deception" is a song with a sense of risk and mission. Dark and kind of brooding, with very fine bass and drums providing a chunky rhythm section.

Chroma dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Chroma" seems meander through a number of places, with a heavy rhythm and power. Parts of it seem kind of jammy, and others seem very full.

Road Hypnosis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pulsing bass line and drum cadence drives you down the coast as the guitars play spectacularly adventurous and pretty lines rich with surf tradition and reverb. "Road Hypnosis" is a very good song with lots of optimistic power and splash.