Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Flux Capacitors - John Q. Brains-for-Armsdotdotdot
artworkThe music of The Flux Capacitors is marked by its lack of melody, recycling patterns, and lab coat feeling. Artrock interpretation gets it marks for courage, but surf doesn't usually lend itself to intellectualization very well. And yet, there are many parts of this ambitious collegiate set that is compelling. Surely not part of mainstream surf, but if you're adventurous and have a soft spot for seventies Krautrock, you just may like this.
Picks: Dead In Arizona, Just 2001, The Flight Of The Cat-Faced Bag, Better Get Used To These Bars, Kid, Mr. Blister

Track by Track Review


Stop The Terrorism! dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

A cycling guitar riff on the left is balanced against a simple pattern on keyboard. While "Stop The Terrorism!" does evolve a bit as it unfolds, only the break really departs from the main line. Aside from surf tone and one verse of double picked mayhem started by a glissando, this is not very surfy.

Dead In Arizona dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

Gentle exotic drum drama and rising moodiness slowly evolve from an ever cycling pattern. "Dead In Arizona" has a few nifty sections, but doesn't quite ignite passion. Like a lot of artrock, it seems more at home in a lab than on the street, or put another way, it's mathematical and unemotional. That said, there are some interesting howling feedback sections that call to you through a psychedelic haze. That, boys and girls, is its saving grace.

Just 2001 dotdotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

"Just 2001" is a mathematical interpretation of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra." It is inventive and noteworthy that this piece can be so easily transmuted into a near-surf guitar, bass, and drums arrangement. It's as pompous as Strauss meant it to be, but it's also very creative in its arrangement at times. At eight minutes, it's definitely not for short boards, but I found it to be well worth paying attention to.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Tonton Coat dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

In a nod to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat," this art rock interpretation gets it's marks for courage, but it seems like a lot more than four and a-half minutes long.

The Flight Of The Cat-Faced Bag dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

On the bouncy side, yet still ethereal, "The Flight Of The Cat-Faced Bag" is more surf like than the other tracks on this album. Manic in the break, maybe even insane, and dramatic and dungeonous too, the song is certainly ambitious and adventurous, though much too measured for surf.

Better Get Used To These Bars, Kid dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

A bit bluesy, partially nightmarish, and with a sense of fingerboard practice, "Better Get Used To These Bars, Kid" is like some of the less fluid Krautrock of the seventies, but also structurally similar to some of Epitaph's work. I found myself oscillating between engagement and uncertainty while listening, but settled for satisfaction in the end.

Mr. Blister dotdotdot
Surf Art Rock (Instrumental)

A goofy chorus opens this double picked riff rocker. Suggesting out of control into the rocks turmoil in a tuxedo, "Mr. Blister" is strangely compelling. Great drums and bass really hold this together. Structurally, it reminds me of harpsichord at times. Disquieting and nervous, visual, and dramatic.