Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Fat Man and Team Fat - surf.comdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is it, and it's been resequenced, some tracks retitled, some new tracks, and all remastered for a full round analog sound. Now, you can rush right out an buy it, at least at their Team Fat web site. This CD comes from the mind of legendary video game soundtrack writer/producer George Alistair Sanger alias Fats. The game this is from remains unreleased, but is titled Glasnost, and includes what Fats lovingly calls Communist Surf Music, hence one of the two meanings of the CD's title.

Now, don't go gettin' any bizarro ideas about their size, or nuthin'. Unlike the Fat Boys who were, these geezers are mere fence rails, and cowboy fence rails at that. How skinny are they? They gotta wiggle all around just to fill their britches. When the walk fast, they hum! Now, you be thinking that just because these California born & bred Texan Cowboy dressed mechanical bull riders would be restricted to the studio, what with being mainly video game music generators, but you'd be wrong. They headlined the lounge at the recent CES Show (a geeky gathering of video heads and product hocking), billed as Surfin at the CES and played a bunch-o-twangin' tunes. They expect to get out this way one day, and have agreed to play live for us in the notorious Pit. Their music sometimes contains cheesy game sounds and wimpy synths and odd drum machines, and real guitars, bass and drums, and ranges from whimsical interludes, formalized "Hail To The Chief" pomp and circumstance, and down right honest blues and surf. Warning! Only those well endowed with a sense of humor and adventure dare apply within.
Picks: Moon Glow, Farewell Party, First Disco (Disco Porno), Where Is Surf, Kropotnik And Ivanna, Boogie Board, Esoteric Bulldozer, Get Back On The Road, The Greenhouse, King Of The Woody Hotel, How We Dance, Jim's Song, Salt And Pecans, Scalin' The Fish, The Folk Back Home, My Old Game Show, Savannah Slump, Red Sunrise, Space Jive, Longboard, Balalaika Stomp, The Committee, Hula Surf Dream, Too Much Love, The Old Dream Ending

Track by Track Review

Moon Glow dotdotdotdot
Calliope & Surf (Instrumental)

A short calliope talk-over introductory bit that migrates into a very nice surf instro, more dry than wet, but a fine tune with a solid melody line, and great opening glissandoes. Cool.

Farewell Party dotdotdot
Greek Disco Weirdness (Instrumental)

Uses a really bizarre drum machine sound under a decidedly Greek melody with dry lead and an acoustic rhythm parroting the lead and barely audible, giving the whole thing an image of Cypress or Athens.

First Disco (Disco Porno) dotdotdot
Sanguine Surf Funk (Instrumental)

Intensely rhythmic, funky near disco coolness with cowbell, tambourine, twangy guitar melody, stinging rhythm accents, and a thick layered sound.

Where Is Surf dotdotdotdot
Sideshow Surf Twango (Instrumental)

A sideshow air, rehearsal chatter, then, the count down, a rousing surf instro of infinitely short duration, and... it's all over. This should be a full length song, 'cuz it's boss! Melodic, rhythmic, ringing, twango maximus...

Kropotnik And Ivanna dotdotdot
Ice Cream Cheese (Instrumental)

Cheap keyboard gameshow thin fudgerock, with a big guitar finale... makes you wanna go to Baskin Robbins.

Boogie Board dotdotdot
Blues n Burgers (Instrumental)

Boogie is right. This is funky blues club groove, with a twangy melody underneath. Fun & soul feeding.

Esoteric Bulldozer dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Very heavy number with Bluesy chunka chunka...

Get Back On The Road dotdotdotdotdot
Communist Surf (Instrumental)

A surf intro, big guitar twang chords, a bit of the "Volga Boatman," then more verses in different textures, obviously making for a complete song, with glissandoes, ample twang, oozing coolness. A fiery and great track!

The Greenhouse dotdotdotdot
Super Short Surf (Instrumental)

A cool surf track, opening with "Plenty of time..." (a comment about how much tape is left running), with light pluckage, dribbling glissandoes, and stellar melodic tendencies. Very short and highly infectious.

King Of The Woody Hotel dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very unsurf instro, more blues cowboy. It's rhythmic and exclamatory. An interesting progression drives it through a moderately paced delivery.

How We Dance dotdotdot
Russian R&B Funk At The Beach (Instrumental)

Very cool keyboard sequences and surf guitar whammy twang, and organ fills... very Russian R&B funk at the beach.

Jim's Song dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

An instro that reminded me a bit of Cat Mother & the All Night News Boys.

Salt And Pecans dotdotdot
Swell Funk (Instrumental)

A bluesy harmonica, a funky bass line, an noodling jazz guitar... swell.

Scalin' The Fish dotdotdot
Hybrid House Funk (Instrumental)

A plunky guitar number, Echoplexed and hinting of a summit meeting between the Fireballs, Joe Walsh, and Buck Owens, with Jimmy Haskell producing and Jimmy Smith out in the hall.

The Folk Back Home dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ah, the flute-illa and the orchestral frills, hinting of the peaceful country side, the transition into a magnificently weird Hail To The Chief, so pompous and military. Brilliant, especially the church bells.!

My Old Game Show dotdotdot
Communist Surf Game (Instrumental)

The Volga Boatman rules the waves, opening with an amazing military march cadence, pure surf, pretty girls harmonizing, and with some brilliant changes. It's short and fiery, and so surfy cool. This is what computer game music should be like.

Savannah Slump dotdotdot
Southern Fried Boogie (Instrumental)

Southern fried boogie jam, complete with soulful string bending, polyester rhythms, and a bit of panache.

Red Sunrise dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very short, one verse with a fine fuzzed melody, and infectious backtrack. It should be a whole song.

Space Jive dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

Flowing melody and textures.

Longboard dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Building on the I'm A Man idea, this blueser is mean, grodie, feedback hyped, and funky. It has a harmonica way out in the hall... just barely audible, which adds an eerie bit atmospherics. Heavy and thumpy. Original title was "I'm A Fat Man."

Balalaika Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cool cowboy surf barndance variation on the Volga Boatman. Bitchin' and really good time infectious. Cool.

The Committee dotdotdotdot
Groovy Surf (Instrumental)

Originally called "Mast On Pen (Masturbation Of Penetration)," this is a fine surf instro in the simple rhythmic form. Simple, surf backtrack, double picked second half. Short and sweet. Hints of "Jack the Ripper," and lots of grooviness.

Hula Surf Dream dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

A swarming sun drenched dripping melodic number. A blues based shiny rhythmic track, soul gripping and fun.

Too Much Love dotdotdot
Nasty Blues (Instrumental)

A very low down and nasty do-the-deed sluggish Blues monster. You can almost hear Barry White doing this...

The Old Dream Ending dotdotdot
Green Blues (Instrumental)

A slow bluesy British sounding number, sorta like Peter Green meets the Groundhogs on the big island. Groovy, soothing, cool.