Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Fabulous Plank-tones - Surfin' At The Sinbaddotdotdot
artworkThis is the first full release from Glendale's own surfband the Fabulous Plank-tones. Some tracks have appeared before, others are launched for the first time here. The performances are uniformly solid, but the sound is uneven. On some tracks, the mix is too much a demo, with inadequate clarity and too much drums. The music is mostly tuff and splashy hard driving modern surf, with occasional sojourns into soft territory. "Channel 9," "Hayseed Surfer," and "The Color Of Love" are particularly noteworthy.
Picks: Man from P.L.A.N.K., Swellwoody, Air Raid, Wave Knockin', Hayseed Surfer, Planktone Stomp, Music to Watch Girls By, Gandy Dancer, Surfin' Holiday in Cambodia, Davy Jones' Locker, The Sea Urchin, Surf Don't Swim, Channel 9, The Color of Love

Track by Track Review

Man from P.L.A.N.K. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aggressive crunch and surf, with a low-E twangy riff. The thunder of the rhythm section gives it a heavier than thou sound, a menacing pound. More riff than melody, but a whole bunch of power. The lead work is modern is nearly commercial spots, grindy in others.

Swellwoody dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an excellent track, with a spunky and fun guitar riff and punchy drums just a little ti up front in the mix. "Swell Woody" is splashy and even a little Spanish feeling. Nice track.

Air Raid dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An eerie electronic howl opens this rapid fire assault. racing waves would be less than just. Tuff and intense. Loaded with energy and a driven by a great riff that's not focused enough in the mix to really take over.

Wave Knockin' dotdotdot
Chicken Surf (Instrumental)

Fuzzabilly grind with a relentless beat and an uncomfortable edge. Not harsh, but surely grodie.

Hayseed Surfer dotdotdotdot
Chicken Surf (Instrumental)

A rockabilly beat, an infectious damped riff, a bit of chicken pickin' , and you have a happy go lucky track perfect for that next bar-b on the deck. It even hints of Buzzy Frets in spots. The glissandoes add real surfability.

Planktone Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Edgy bluesy whammy bar smoothness, and a fine progression over a bit of start-stop action. It's not melodic exactly, but it is very enjoyable, like a mid tempo Neptunes tune might be. A bit of funk, a tad of liquid moonlight, and some nervous lurking. Optimistic.

Music to Watch Girls By dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fluffy MOR hit born of a TV add from the past is grunted up some and given credibility with new edge while retaining the tongue-in-cheek humor of the original.

Gandy Dancer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bouncy and playful rockabilly with a subdued guitar sound and an optimistic gate. The melody line is very infectious despite being too low in the mix.

Surfin' Holiday in Cambodia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Harsh dark guitar choking opens this instrumentalized Dead Kennedys classic. Surprisingly listenable in this form, the DK's' "Holiday in Cambodia" is grindy and relentless while also being somewhat melodic in extreme echo. Interesting choice.

Davy Jones' Locker dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick oceanic instro, with a plundering plodding rhythm, accented by swimming chords and and picturesque twang. Mid tempo burial at sea sounds, with a sadness and a savvy sway. It's relentless, and minimal, yet it has a magnetism that keeps your attention throughout. Nice track.

The Sea Urchin dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Sea Urchin" sports a tasty riff, with a friendly feel and a good memorability quotient. This is a very nice track, which stands up to repeated listenings. It's chunky without being overpowering. Fluid, and somewhat menacing.

Surf Don't Swim dotdotdot
Ventures-like (Instrumental)

With a chord progression inspired by Johnny Smith's "Walk, Don't Run," this wanders into near Christmas territory, like the Ventures' "Sleigh Ride," but without the bells. No, it's not a holiday cover, it just felt like that to me. Infectious and bouncy.

Channel 9 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Challengers' "Channel 9" is played with energy and drive. The drums are excellent and the guitar chimes in just right. Very fun track.

The Color of Love dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow dripping reverb backs this soft melody. "The Color of Love" is a little sad and very pretty. The melody is very friendly, getting into your heart in an island evening kinda way.