Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Exotics - Go Go Guitarsdotdotdot
artworkI think the Exotics are having an identity crisis. There's a wide spectrum of unfocused sound here. Some exotica/lounge, some rock, some bison bop, and some surf. The good tracks are really good, and the others are really marginal. The covers are mostly too common, except for Lariat and Casbah. I'm glad I have it, but would have liked more focus. Some of the production is really not complimentary to the performance, almost amateur in nature. Clean, just not complimentary to the tune. Others are brilliant. I have to wonder which were the accidents. Ah well. Still, the CD is nice. I think the artwork suggest more lounge/exotica then there ism, and the Ventures pose of the back is not represented in the sound except for the trashing of Whittier Blvd.. A mixed bag for sure. Let's see what they do with the next CD.
Picks: Prelude, Sandoway, Go Go Guitars, Lariat, Jetsetter, The Boppin' Bison, Taste Of Honey, Apache', Inter-Mission, Exotics' Twist, Casbah, Vila Nova, Diamond Head, Whittier Blvd., Gasser, Theme From An Exotic Dream, Untitled

Track by Track Review

Prelude dot
Exotica (Instrumental)

Arthur Lyman wanna be, vibes, bongos, the whole schtick. Next

Sandoway dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Edgy guitars and a reasonable melody, but it didn't stick. It's well played. I just couldn't remember it right after playing it.

Go Go Guitars dotdot
Surf Tequila Vegas (Instrumental)

Owing it's life to "Tequila," this is a choppy Vegas Go Go sorta number. I wasn't impressed.

Lariat dotdotdotdot
Bison Bop (Instrumental)

Wow! The Exotics stay pretty true to the original Legends' recording. Cool. Not a surf tune or arrangement, but for the Bison Bop instro crowd, this is a must, and the tune is a piece of pre-surf history. I'm curious why the mix is so odd with the bass in the right channel only? It really loses power that was. Could have been a five star track I think.

Jetsetter dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A high register space image tune. The glissandoes are cool, and the mix is nice.

The Boppin' Bison dotdotdot
Hoe Down (Instrumental)

Tipping their hat to the Bison Bop, this hoe-down riffola is quite cool. Buck Owens, or more likely Roy Clarke could do this.

Taste Of Honey dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Taking their arrangement cue from the Halibuts doesn't save this track. Maybe this is just a personal thing, but I don't like this song, and none of the surf arrangements are worth a toothpick.

Apache' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Standard Jorgen Ingman arrangement with more reverb. Nice. It seems to me that the rhythm line is wrong.

Inter-Mission dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cheap organ, pumping like the bozos in the mall selling Wurlitzers to the retired mailmen.

Exotics' Twist dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A basic stomp and a riff. The scratchy vinyl noises in the intro suck. I'll be really glad when the vinyl worship cult fades away.

Casbah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hearing Richie Podolor's monster played so laid back, with tepid guitar tones and no attack, you'd think I'd be sayin' Next! Well, there's something here. The concept works well, and the bongos add a fatal touch. I'm hooked. Strange, but lovable.

Vila Nova dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Has a Mediterranean or Spaghetti Western feel to it. Very nice number.

Diamond Head dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A standard cover of an over covered standard. There's that bass in the right channel thing again... pass.

Whittier Blvd. dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It sounds like they are covering the Ventures crappy cover of the incredible original by Thee Midnighters. The Ventures ruined it, and the Exotics reclaimed it a bit, but still, it has none of the energy or flair or vibrance of the original.

Gasser dotdot
Vegas (Instrumental)

Vegas riffola. Other than the stolen riff in the middle, I couldn't remember it 3 seconds after playing it.

Theme From An Exotic Dream dot
Exotica (Instrumental)

More Arthur Lyman or Martin Denny... I'm sure it all means something, but it escapes me.

Untitled dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Not track marked, and uncredited, the bad recording at the end is not helped by the scratchy vinyl pops. Why is this here?