Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Fantomes - et Leurs Big Sound Guitares Vol. 2dotdotdot
22 instrumentals from a fine French band, on vinyl, and hard to come by. Get the CD with both volumes on it.
Picks: Reflexion, Lover's Guitar, Le Grand Depart, Archimede, Marche Des Aigles, Partisans, Bastic, Moulin Rouge, Tolhrac, Les Yeux Noirs, Caravane, Stone City, Summertime, Elle Est Passee

Track by Track Review


Reflexion dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is one pretty song, with stunning guitar tone and a gentle flow. Also called "Logic," "Reflexion" has a bit of island beauty, and just a hint of sadness.

Lover's Guitar dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Muted echoed guitar with spatial acoustic reverb launches a bouncy, soaring song with grace and a cool melody line. Very nice track.

Le Grand Depart dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Le Grand Depart" has a loud twang that's haunting and desert like. There's a lot of drama here, as well as excellent arranging. With the kind of spaghetti ethics achieved by King Of Hawaii, and the sweeping epic sound of period twang, the song is very engaging and enjoyable.

Archimede dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Archimede" employs echo for delay, and big twang in a part country, part Shadows style that's endearing. Pretty nice.

Marche Des Aigles dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Walk With Eagles" is a catchy number with dramatic drums and bass, and flying guitars. Right from the start, the song captures and keeps your attention. The drums are standout cool.

Partisans dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Great semi military drums pound out a monster beat while the guitar drives a dramatic circular melody. "Partisans" is a superb track. The drums are very good, and the rest of the band is playing top notch. Way cool!

Bastic dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Featuring ultra low melody the way Jet Harris used to do it, "Bastic" is an enticing track with a very good melody. Picturesque melody lines and imagery, and superb drums!

Hully Bach dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Hully Bach" is an aggressive treatment of a Bach melody. Big whammy dips are off set by a goofy chorus. In the end, it's kinda jammy and ho-hum.

Moulin Rouge dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The catchy melody of "Moulin Rouge" is well suited to the stylings of Les Fantomes. Big twang and great rolling drums.

Que Ton Coeur Me Soit Fidele
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Que Ton Coeur Me Soit Fidele" ("That Your Heart Is Faithful For Me") is a throw away, with a dreadful chorus that puts it in the same league as so many old folks rock wanna be covers.

Tolhrac dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Sandy Nelson drums and rhythm guitar similar to The Animals' "I'm Cryin." The drum solo is the main feature. It's better than most, and on par with some of Sandy Nelson's cooler solos. Great energy and power!

Les Yeux Noirs dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a classy rockin' cover of Yevhen Hrebinka's "Dark Eyes." Great drums and guitar playing with pumping bass. Really nice.

Caravane dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is an unusual arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Caravan." It's slower and more delicate in some ways, but is not at all restrained in delivery. The bongos and raspy sax add a beat generation edge to this cool cover.

Elle Est Bien Bonne dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"It Is Quite Good" is a kinda goofy sorta country number with haunted laughter. It's not melodic, just jammy and juvenile.

Stone City dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Stone City" portrays a sad western image atop a galloping rhythm section. Its spaghetti influence is fairly clear, and the muted reverb lead guitar in the break adds surf to the mix. Very cool!

Blackbird dot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Gross chorus and a pop melody reference the myriad of popsters of the era. Pretty darn forgettable.

Summertime dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

George Gershwin's "Summertime" gently flows as the rim shots are echoed across the soundscape. There's a chorus that detracts from what's otherwise a nearly surfable version of this song.

Hully Bach dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This over compressed alternate is fun and was understandably unreleased. The drums are the best part.

Que Ton Coeur Me Soit Fidele dot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This alternate take of "Que Ton Coeur Me Soit Fidele" is dull and not very inspired.

Blackbird dot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

A big muddy take of "Blackbird" that's overbearing in its murkiness.

Summertime dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is perhaps just the undubbed take of "Summertime." Remove the chorus and the song becomes very cool. Echoed rims shots and surfish guitar create a haunting sound.

Elle Est Passee dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is the backtrack to the vocal "Elle Est Passee," and it's in stereo. While missing a lead melody, it's nonetheless a very pleasant track that stands on its own. Great stop-start breaks.