Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
El Ray - Holiday On Icedotdotdotdot
artworkA giant wash of reverb, very dramatic sound, a great deal of tension throughout, and transitional vinyl noise at the on and off ramps. El Ray have created some nontraditional surf based music here that's quite powerful. Dark and threatening.
Picks: Car Hire From Hell, From Kazakhstan With Love, The Paratrooper, The Vandal, Chainsaw Boogie Fifth Gear, Chainsaw Boogie, Carlos, Building Up For A Meltdown, El Coyote, Cryoray

Track by Track Review


Car Hire From Hell dotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

With a big chord intro like Rumble and sliced choking, "Car Hire From Hell" launches right into a double picked rampage of sound. Giant and intense.

From Kazakhstan With Love dotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Cool percussion and groovy spy organ run beneath a pair of tasty guitars, one playing a trembling melody, and the other playing a captivating pattern The swap roles in the breaks. "From Kazakhstan With Love" is a very cool track with a suave edge.

The Paratrooper dotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Nervous intense notes, large grumble, and dark danger emote from this minimalist track. It's not melodic, but rather is all about setting a scene of threatening and forbidding images. Very heavy, with a thick and thunderous sound.

The Vandal dotdotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Inviting notes and tones, accompanied by monk-like chants, yield to a song of great emotional power. "The Vandal" has the kind of sound and attraction that the Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad" conveys. Beautiful chords and morose imagery. Very original, and very cool!

Chainsaw Boogie Fifth Gear dotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Layers of fast double picked intensity, big chords, and darkness abound in this slightly drony number. It's interesting to a point, but is really only about the intensity.

Chainsaw Boogie dotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Chainsaw Boogie" moves slowly with richness and a gloomy underbelly. The whistling organ and chorus create a sense of dungeons and gloom, while the bass and drums bode ill for the morrow, and the big chords rule. There are many darknesses wrapped up in this track, and a rising sense of layered nervousness. As the wash rises in density, the tension rises along with it.

Carlos dotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Carlos" must be a loner, 'cuz this song portrays a lone character of the kind spaghetti westerns are often about. Some fast tense verses, some more emotional, and some feedback. This is a thick and layered track with a very large sound. It seems to transverse great expanses. Quite engaging.

Building Up For A Meltdown dotdotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Building Up For A Meltdown" is much more song-like than the rest of the tracks here, benefiting from a very good melody and more traditional structure. It's no less thick and intense, just more usual in its structure. I like this a lot. It's huge and dominating without being overbearing.

El Coyote dotdotdotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This slow track does a fine job of portraying a desert view where lone predators hunt prey. It's a lonesome track with great whammy chords and a long view. Drama, beauty, volume, and haunted shadows. Cowboy meets the surf in a halfpipe.

Cryoray dotdotdot
Danger Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Cryoray" moves slowly to illustrate a distant and dangerous scene. There's a simple riff that rises slightly before ending in a reverb wash that slowly decays. Short, but very cool.