Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hellbenders - Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Diedotdotdotdotdot
artworkWell, all I can say is, it's about time! There's just nothing better than when a great band finally gets around to their debut CD and it's easily as good as I could hope for. The Hellbenders have been teasing us with brilliant spaghetti western surf for a long time. Now, a full album of brilliant music, surfed and polished and sequenced like an Italian soundtrack release. The band includes a number of very cool vocals with rich surf-spaghetti guitars too, including "All I Can Do Is Cry," Johnny Cash's "Big River," the delightful "A Gringo Like Me," "Run, Billy Run," "The Ghosts Of Boot Hill," "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral," and "On The Run"
Picks: Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die, Winchester Justice, Desert Standoff, Unmarked Grave, Waiting To Kill, Sabata, The Big Gundown, Siboney, Unmarked Grave Revisited, Runnin' Wild, A taste Of Death, Have A Nice Funeral My Friend, The Gunman Left Standing, The Hellbenders

Track by Track Review

Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Glorious reverbed twang chord and western rhythm launched "Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die." The Hellbenders propagate a splendid spaghetti western intro with a rich cactus sound and feel. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Winchester Justice dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra wet guitar gently runs a western riff and spaghetti drums carry the beat. "Winchester Justice" is a splendid song with a rich heritage of the old west the way Ennio Morricone morphed it, then brought back around to the American sound. Excellent!

Desert Standoff dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Dangerous, scenic in the stubby guitar ambush way... "Desert Standoff" is much like soundtrack sequences for a real live spaghetti western. A kind of interlude.

Unmarked Grave dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid track in the wholly original way that only the Hellbenders reinvent spaghetti western. Great reverbed surf rhythm guitar, liquid hanging tree melody, and military drums. "Unmarked Grave" is a splendid song!

Waiting To Kill dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

the intro lines present reverbed time clock nervousness... The lead brings on a sense of inevitability... "Waiting To Kill" is a sequence filler kind of song that's very effective.

Sabata dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Sabata" is an adventurous open road kind of song with "Mexican" murmurs and a semi cowboy splashiness. It moves unimpeded down a coastal highway. Even the chorus is cool. A fine track!

The Big Gundown dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Trotting bass lines under twin guitar lines accented with stinging plucks... very cool number. It rings has mega Southwest feel, and invokes images of galloping riders in long coats and wide brim hats. Bitchin'.

Siboney dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Next to Johnny Fortune, this is easily the coolest version of Ernesto Lacuona's classic song. It's very rich rhythmically, and very fluid. Great drums and an absolutely liquid flow. A billion stars here!

Unmarked Grave Revisited dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Unmarked Grave Revisited" is another short interlude sequence just like in the movies. Cool!

Runnin' Wild dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmically very interesting, echoed and reverbed, and way fun. "Runnin' Wild" bounces and romps under a splashy western melody with an attractive arrangement. Totally cool!

A taste Of Death dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Rich twang rings out a short interlude blast.

Have A Nice Funeral My Friend dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

There simply is no better spaghetti western recording than this. The melody is perfect genre picturesque, the guitar tone is splendidly pasta drenched, and the rhythm section delivers a remarkably effective cowboys with cigars rolling beat. Even the use of distortion seems right in place. This is as infectious as they come.

The Gunman Left Standing dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

This fine track first appeared on the B-side of their amazing lone single. This is mid tempo, fluid, military, and quite compelling. One day a whole CD will appear from this excellent Volcanos alter ego.

The Hellbenders dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Easily the best spaghetti western band on earth, Michigan's Hellbenders ply their trade to Ennio Morricone's song from which their name came. More than just cool, "The Hellbenders" is well developed and very dramatic. The lag of the second guitar in the guitar duo section is very unusual. It's a trick normally applied by piano players.