Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hydroids IV - Tiki Breezedotdotdot
artworkI really like the arrangements on most tracks, and the energy in the playing. The band's obvious prowess is obscured in murky production, and especially by a lead guitar that has way too much reverb to hear any of the subtleties and inflection. Most of the demo tracks here would be at least one more star recorded with some decent resolution and with less murky tone.
Picks: Caramba, Ginza Lights, Hydrorobots, Le Parrain, Rocket Man, Russian Roulette, Sunset Surf, Chuck Boogie, Tiki Breeze, Lost Girl

Track by Track Review

Caramba dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Caramba" has a good melody riff that's very surfy. Murky reverb reduces the guitar's power, and whistling organ is fairly non-period. The muddy sound leaves what is otherwise a very good well written song standing at the curb.

Ginza Lights dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This rendering of "Ginza Lights" sounds more like a poor man's "Dr. Zhivago" than a Japanese classic. Aside from the obvious limitations of the murky audio, the song is sad, dramatic, and compelling.

Hydrorobots dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and ominous guitar drive fast and hard across the face of that 10 foot cruncher. This would be a monster if it was well recorded and mixed. Great song!

Le Parrain dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Le Parrain" is a cover of "Dr. Zhivago" that's very cool. Brilliant fast and slow sections bring variety, and the drums rock. Solid bass rounds it out. This is the first track on the disc that the bass is relatively clear. Oh for a great recording!

Rocket Man dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fairly direct cover of one of a dozen sixties British style version of this song. This is very garagy, with whistling organ carrying the lead melody. In some ways it's like a cross between The Chessmen and The Berzerkers versions, but with organ dominant. "Rocket Man" is a Russian traditional song called "Meadowlands" and "Samovar."

Russian Roulette dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Nevegans' "Russian Roulette" is fodder for a fast romp through surf sensibilities. The drums run in rapid fire mode and the band races through this at a significantly faster pace than the original.

Sunset Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and reverby as in water barrel. This is a pretty energetic romp through The Intrepides' "Golash," miscredited as The Truants' "Sunset Surf." One stupid bootleg comp got it wrong, and this is at least the third band using the wrong title as a result.

Chuck Boogie dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mid-tempo garagy frat rocker with organ lead and guitar buried in murk. With such poor resolution, the changes going on and all subtleties are lost.

Tiki Breeze dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fun melody riff and splashy performance combine for a jaunty ride through a reverb fest. "Tiki Breeze" is neither breezy nor very tiki, except in the frat rock sense with reverb.

Lost Girl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a dramatic and moody number with a mysterious melody line. Spooky, bordering on haunted, with a fine arrangement and excellent writing. "Lost Girl" is a very cool song!