Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Goldentones - Atlantisdotdot
artworkThis 1994 release from Royal Oak, Michigan's Goldentones sports a few tracks that have held up well over the years, and a number that have not. With its crisp and thin eighties sound, much of this wears thin from an aural perspective.
Picks: F.FWD, Aurora, Midnight, Kalypso, Spitfire, Praying Mantis, Moon Pair, Palms Motel, Departure, Summer Vacation, Tornado Warning, Freestyle, Outbound, 1961

Track by Track Review

F.FWD dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy double picked dry guitar chops hard at a somewhat middle eastern riff, driving hard chords between verses. Power and edge are the watchwords here. "F.FWD" still holds up after all these years (issued in 1994).

Aurora dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate island chords precede a journey into a barren landscape, over which the Aurora Borealis dances across the abyss of night. "Aurora" doesn't exactly go anywhere, but it does conjure images of strange environs.

Midnight dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The intensity of this tune drives you nervous. Not loud, more like repetitive stress syndrome for the ears. "Midnight" transcends boredom and emotes psychosis. Devoid of melody, but that seems as it should be. It is definitely an altered state creator with stunning harmonics and piercing power.

Kalypso dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of the Caribbean, a touch of the sparkle of the beach, and a very playful riff merge in this carefree vacation side trip. "Kalypso" is unusual in that it's not really melodic, yet seems to ebb and flow like ripples lapping at the shore.

Spitfire dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line here is not particularly interesting. Much more a jam than a song, it seems only held together by the relentless rhythm section born of the eighties.

Praying Mantis dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Insect worship is a non-melodic church. "Praying Mantis" is just nerve wracking, and at times dissonant, but never fluid.

Moon Pair dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate damped guitar chords open the track over an eighties snare. Like a tourist airline on final approach, it seems to anticipate an island landing. It serves as an interesting introduction to "Palms Motel" (the next track). Very short.

Palms Motel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is structured around an alternation between gutty danger and curio shops meanderings. "Moon Pair" is more developed and interesting than many here, with curious percussion and the rhythm section from Dick Dale's "Taco Wagon."

Departure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate and sad, "Departure" speaks softly of the sweet sorrow of endings. It's a solo guitar adventure through a rolling progression for the first verse, and then the drums kick in with a much to loud eighties thin reverbed snare attack where there should be soft rim shots. Still, it's a pleasant track.

Summer Vacation dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bouncy in a sub Austin way, with an angular guitar line a grumbly bass over relentless eighties drums. Mostly splashy chords. Not the least bit interesting.

Tornado Warning dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sounding like a spin-off inspired by the B-52's at first, "Tornado Warning" quickly becomes a pale thunder menace, with grumbling guitar. It's all about the sights and sounds, and the lack of melody doesn't seem to matter much.

Freestyle dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dry twang and dribble in a non-melodic riff structure, with eighties percussion and bass. It's has some attraction, but not much repeatability.

Outbound dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big splashy tropical chords and beat add to the sense of adventure clearly evident in "Outbound." It has a minor version of the kind of attraction that Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" has in places, and a dramatic splash in the bridges.

1961 dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"1961" does not sound at all like it's 1961. The melody is a soft and slow prom cruiser, with a pleasant riff which boarders on romantic.