Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
GT Stringer - Sandcrack The Soundtrackdotdotdotdot
artworkGT Stringer are one unique band. their music is strongly jazz based, with a honk-and-squirt drive that's humorous and quite cool. This is augmented with great guitar and playful ideas. There's no doubt about the surf content, and no other band with a sound that's even close. Splendid Australian surf music from dedicated longboarders. The CD is a soundtrack to a nonexistent film, and on the inside is the image of the film's theme. A more appetizing shot has never been. GT Stringer are Jimmy Redgate - guitar, Trevor Ramsay - sax, Dennis Kipridis - bass, and Steve Hearne - drums. Too cool for words.
Picks: Tsunami, Wall Of Blue, Essence Of Man, Corduroy Horizon, Nothing Else Matters, the Crane Series, Jazz Bubble, 5 Paces Then Trim, Dodge Tide, Mrs. Jones, Hearse Ride, Walk The Plank, Desert Daze

Track by Track Review


Tsunami dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the most tribal and mean soulful sax based thing on disc. It includes cries of "Tsunami" in evil dark chorus voices. It conveys the impending doom of gray storm surf, huge and driven by major disturbances elsewhere. The magnetism of the huge curl and the danger are intertwined.

Wall Of Blue dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Hand clapping rhythms and spiffy rhythms support gorgeous surf-jazz guitar lines that give up images of glassy walls on warm summer days, like scenes from The Endless Summer. Melodic, pretty, and most enjoyable.

Essence Of Man dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

With such an auspicious title, I anticipated a deep socio-scientific sophisticated excursion through the back alleys of the mind. Instead, a shimmering low-key vibrato keyboard under an art rock wah-wah lead like Jimi Hendrix at Pleasure Point wondrously delivers liquid visions. Very nice track.

Corduroy Horizon dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

The title is so poetic. Thin lines relentlessly roll towards the shore, looking like the wale of corduroy. Yup, and that's the feel of the music as well. Softly artistic, atmospheric, and jazz groovy.

Nothing Else Matters dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Vocal)

A narrative over a slippery hydro-jazz piece. More than beat poetry or spoken word. Cool.

the Crane Series dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Beboppin' sax driven melodic party song, playful and fun. The stereo horns harmonizing with themselves is very appealing. Spirited and exciting.

Jazz Bubble dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Opening with the squeals of pigs, this funky track moves slowly on the back of an R&B guitar tone and cool sax lines, with a watery shimmer and very nice drum work. Like something out of the Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys songbook strained through James Brown in a hammock, this soothes and brings a grin of satisfaction.

5 Paces Then Trim dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Horses whinny, and a spaghetti western guitar line over a dramatic backtrack create an Enio Morricone inspired track, with a distant chorus and sultry sax lines. Really nice. This belongs in a film. The use of jaws harp and gunshots just crosses the "T's" in spaghetti. Wow!

Dodge Tide dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Way short, this track opens with a horn honk and cry of "out of the way ya dip-wad." The music is smooth and moody, with fine sax-guitar tandem lines. The percussion ending is funky-weird, with chanted lines, and a sudden end.

Mrs. Jones dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Playful and melodic, soulful in a seventies groove, and very pleasing. The song celebrates "Mrs. Jones" with playful lines and joyous sax riffs.

Hearse Ride dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a slow and moody blues, a reflective post-dirge excursion with surf guitar and atmospheric sax.

Walk The Plank dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is IT! This tune was an afterthought, like "Wipe Out." The band had a few minutes of time remaining in the studio, and they just jammed. It wasn't "written" or "conceived." It just happened in real time, in one take, completely un-augmented. It turns out to be the most interesting and powerful track on the disc. It resides halfway between the Mermen and jazz, with really cool baritone sax tones and feedback. melodic, moody, and powerful! The vibrato shimmers and the sax groans. The false ending precedes a mess glorious feedback followed by thirty seconds of shorebreak.

Desert Daze dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a nine-plus minute excursion into island images, shiny sounds, fluid notes, and appealing atmospherics. Mighty nice track.