Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Gitniks - Space Age Guitarsdotdotdot
artworkFirst off, this is very much in the European tradition, with only some surf present. If that's your cup of tea, then you'll like it easily as well as many of the CD's coming out of the Norse countries these days. For me, there just isn't enough happening in the surf arena. The music is part surf, part spy, part Shadows, and often over effected with too much delay and a track-wide wash of reverb. I'm sorry to say that the large number of songs coupled with the same overdone production techniques made reviewing this a chore that I had to break up into small chunks. Only a couple of tracks really stood out.
Picks: Pul-Say-Shun, Shoreline Gold, Spyglasses, El Cajuna, Astracruisin', Doheney Drive, Lost Warrior, Itchy Pt. 2, Tango L'Amerique, Rick-O-Chet, Glimmer Ring, Wrangler's Rhapsody, Road Rumbler, Beatnik Beach Party, Ultimate Sunrise, Twilight Slumbers, Anthem Of The Waves, Rollin' Rider, Gremmie's Revenge, Quest For The Sun, Space Age Guitars, Incident At Malibu, Blue Beyond, Glassy, Rebel Tide, Pacific Ocean Breeze, Spinnin' Down, Islands Of paradise

Track by Track Review

Pul-Say-Shun dotdotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

With a "Peter Gunn"-like rhythm line, "Pul-Say-Shun" pulses and pumps in a somewhat gentle way, It is precisely moderate pace that makes this song so effective. Great whammy chords and a bit of danger.

Shoreline Gold dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

The muted guitar uses delay instead of reverb, which gives "Shoreline Gold" a touch of space rock. Plinky fifties piano adds a vintage sense too. It is very upbeat, and sports a fine melody line. Great fun.

Spyglasses dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

"Spyglasses" features a Shadowsy guitar sound, a Euro spy melody line, and a haunted organ. It prances and plays with your imagination. Pretty fun track.

El Cajuna dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate guitar lines play a circulating riff with solid drums and a lighthearted semi tropical sound. It's a little moody, but mostly playful the way UK bands often wrote their melodies 50 years ago. Quite nice.

Astracruisin' dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

With a decidedly Euro rock sound in both guitar tone and melody, "Astracruisin'" uses it's light weight to convey the kind of romantic notions that such tracks often did. Quite nice.

Doheney Drive dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

Like the Ventures mixed with the Shadows, and borrowed lines from the Beach Boys' "Stoked," this song grows on you. Cool low whammy chords between lines. Melodically more like a traveling jam with the coast in mind, yet very fun.

Lost Warrior dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Classic Indian drums and drama run beneath a way too murky digitally reverbed and delayed track. The layers of effects make it difficult to listen to, but beneath the production lies a very nice melody and interesting song.

Itchy Pt. 2 dotdotdot
Chicken Bop (Instrumental)

The title suggests something akin to a chicken bop instro mixed with Travis Wammack's "Scratchy." Rightly titled, "Itchy Pt. 2" hints at both while playing in a fifties instro style.

Tango L'Amerique dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

The long echoed melody lines and imagery are very much in the mold of the Euro instros of the sixties and seventies, as well as what currently comes out of the Norse countries. Light and romantic.

Rick-O-Chet dotdotdotdotdot
Cow Surf (Instrumental)

"Rick-O-Chet" is a splendid track loaded with glissandos and reverb and a cowboy feel. A great melody riff, cool whammy, and high spirited mid-tempo rhythms drive this fine instro. Splash, curl riders, and gun smoke.

Glimmer Ring dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

A long-echoed Shadows-like melody and ping pong delayed muted guitar lines say Euro instro proudly. The melody is circular and well thought out.

Wrangler's Rhapsody dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This slow-ish Hank Marvin-esq piece is nicely done, with that long delay British sound. The melody is really nice - the sort of thing you can hum along with when you're in a good mood.

Road Rumbler dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Weird warbly modulated guitar is stereo warbled giving "Road Rumbler" an out of mind sound. The effect is too much for my tastes, but seems somehow fitting for the circulating melody line that progresses through many small changes. The portions where the lead guitar is quiet tell of a very cool idea that's just not arranged in the most effective way to my ear.

Beatnik Beach Party dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This doesn't hint at a beach party at all. It's more like a slight nod to the instro hipsters of the orchestral studio system of the fifties converted into a lounge excursion. Light hearted and fun, but it didn't remain in ram after listening.

Ultimate Sunrise dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is an almost visually sign wave melody that's interesting in its seeming predictability. No, it's not predictable. What I mean is that every note and change seems very satisfying, much like hear what is expected and welcome. A very nicely written piece. "Ultimate Sunrise" is neither ultimate nor hinting of sunrise in my imagination, but it does have a catchy riff that is circular in nature.

Twilight Slumbers dotdotdot
Slide (Instrumental)

"Twilight Slumbers" is well titled. Its nod to Santo and Johnny is unmistakable, but not derivative. Warm and slithery slide hooks emotionally to your secret romantic side. Quite nice.

Anthem Of The Waves dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

Euro guitar crossbred with muted surf rhythm yields a swimming pool ambiance and visual. Delay is the main effect, but the ambient reverb makes it sound like it's in an indoor pool. Pretty fun.

Rollin' Rider dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Mid tempo easy rockin' in the sixties British way, "Rollin' Rider" bounces along with a grin and optimism. This easy flowing track almost laughs in that dry British way.

Gremmie's Revenge dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

Merge surf and fifties boogie roll and you get "Gremmie's Revenge." It's an active instro with flair, whammy, and splash. Not melodic, but a mighty fun progression that's aquatic enough to ride the curl.

Quest For The Sun dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Cheesy organ, an Euro riff and delay effected guitar tone, with a kind of mathematical feeling. Not at all melodic, but running the scale like a 300 year old experimental progression or a guitar hero solo that's toned down and smoothed out. Fun.

Space Age Guitars dotdot
Euro Space (Instrumental)

Cheesy keyboard effects and over-echoed guitar approximate a fifties tape echo exercise. "Space Age Guitars" is all about the delay.

Incident At Malibu dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Arranged for the wrong continent, "Incident At Malibu" seems more at home in Europe than on the sands of Malibu. Too much echo and muted guitar and track reverb. It seems mostly like a guitar exercise.

Blue Beyond dot
Euro (Instrumental)

"Blue Beyond" does have a bit of an epic open sky feeling to it, and it's very European sounding. The melody's progression seemed somewhat forced to me.

Glassy dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

This is a circular riff-driven intro that's almost catchy. The muted reverb second guitar is the surf element here. The melody is European in nature, not at all California.

Rebel Tide dotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

"Rebel Tide" is somewhat inspired by Jack Nitzsche's "Lonely Surfer" and perhaps some slow Jet Harris and Tony Meehan track. While it seems pretty derivative, it's also an easy listen.

Pacific Ocean Breeze dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

The melody here seems more coastal than most here, and the echoed muted guitar lines add a near-surf feeling, as do the Middle Eastern lines. "Pacific Ocean Breeze" seems pretty bright, and leans toward some of the Challengers' middle period tracks in structure and sound.

Spinnin' Down dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

This is very surf in arrangement and imagery. Whammy chords at the end of melody lines and an arrangement that transcends the echo into an almost surf sound. It's the sort of track that would fit well with the top down on a coastal drive. The organ break is very non-surf. Very nice!

Islands Of paradise dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This slow piece is sort of romantic in an island getaway tourist kind of way. Big track wash reverb gives it a distant sound.