Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Impala - Night Full Of Sirens: Anthology '93-'97dotdotdot
artworkThis is an extensive vault purge of Impala's career. They cut some fine material along the way.
Picks: LTD A-Go-Go, Taos Pueblo, Experiment In Terror / Stalkin', Hell Of A Woman, Odalesque, Ronnie and the Renegades, Last Tango In Turrell, Anna Vienna, Incident On The Tenth Floor, The Hearse, Nothing More Than Murder, Penetration, Venus Flytrap, In Transit, Epilogue, Squad Car, Tomb Of The Tupelo Twin, Blue Light Of Capricorn, Night Full Of Sirens, Herculanium, Rope Of Sand, Choctaw, Jet Action Brunette, The Scratch, Amarillo

Track by Track Review

LTD A-Go-Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mysterious distant power surf for the old Ford. It's big and swimming in large hall reverb.

Mr. Here dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An unusual melody line introduces this sorta dramatic track. The main track is not very melodic, but just more of the same recurrent power drama.

Taos Pueblo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Desert surf drive and whammy, glissando action, and a grode low down riff. Power is the key here.

Experiment In Terror / Stalkin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

These two covers slowly oozed out in a dark corner of your imagination, where there is no waking up when it gets tough. Spooky, big, distant, ominous. Raw and intensely mean. The screaming sax is too cool!

Hell Of A Woman dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dark vibrato grind with an evil sax at the end of a dark hall, sultry like the Viscounts, but edgy and dirty. "Hell Of A Woman" is a really slow groove.

Odalesque dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty swell surf track. It cuts right to the chase with a glissando and damped reverbed rhythm guitar, and a narrow little riff melody line, accented with tasty whammy. Excellent stuff.

Ronnie and the Renegades dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big stinging whammy and a relentless bass line behind a simple riff rock lead and a modern beat. The track works ok, but is a bit too repetitious. The main riff reminds me of a speeded up Jim Thomas melody.

Wild Night At The Bloody Bucket dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Grindcore riff rock instro fare. It's pumped, but not melodic or memorable. In the Link Wray vein without the magic the skinny one delivers.

Last Tango In Turrell dotdotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Excellent tango de whammy, tasty licks, deep wham, stinging tone, and that cool tango rhythm.

Anna Vienna dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Driven surf grind, glissandos and occasional double picking, with middle eastern air and a Surf Trio feel, but slightly restrained from what that might imply in terms of edge and power. Excellent track, highway bound, whammy swerved, and open road free falling.

Incident On The Tenth Floor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Crunchy double picked and whammified surf rage, with wailin' drums and high energy. The melody seems like cross between the Eddie & the Showmen and Dick Dale styles, with elements of "Banzai Washout." Excellent raw spunky surf.

The Hearse dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's exceptional composition "The Hearse" is delivered with speed and power. It's pure raw garage surf. Nothing really new, but the subdued middle section is a nice way to vary the otherwise straight ahead arrangement. Cool glissandos abound.

King Louie Stomp dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Free of any references to Richard Berry's classic rock anthem, this is a basic R&B riff stomp, jumpin' and rompin', but no more than a progression waiting for a melody.

Nothing More Than Murder dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil slow distantly reverbed sound enhances the sadness of the melody, bringing the nagging omen of tragedy just beyond the light into focus. The shimmering vibrato of the second guitar adds to the nerve ending stimulation. Very moody.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Pyramids' over done classic, with only the replacement of the Ventures' string swipes with heavily vibratoed slowly let chords to separate it from the pack, that and the excellent use of the sax as a textural filler. Pumped and fun.

Venus Flytrap dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Riff rock, like many of the Northwest instros of other eras. High powered glissandos and surf tones nearly hidden in the organ swirl of chord progression thinking. Solid energy, but not much to focus attention on.

In Transit dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Excellent double picked guitar work, choppy damped picking, swimming whammy, and lots of ambiance. Mostly a riff, but quite effective.

Epilogue dotdotdot
Detective Surf (Instrumental)

Detective movie ethics, sassy sax ambiance, surf guitar rhythm, and long sustained guitar note leads. This is a tasty aside from the usual street lamp trench coat fare.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and furious, with wailing sirens, "Squad Car" rips with the requisite power and edge. A little too much ambient reverb softens the blow, but this is such a seriously hot surf instro that it still comes off strong!

Tomb Of The Tupelo Twin dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Saucy sax rising, echoed finger pops, moody guitar shimmering in delivery of a very cool riff. "Tomb Of The Tupelo Twin" is slow and very depressed, yet has a sense of slight hope. More of a song than most here, it is engaging and quite cool.

Blue Light Of Capricorn dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Light Of Capricorn" is a very cool song with a bit of surf and a sax haunting the night. The original structure and shimmer of the guitars are well suited for the melody line. Exotic, almost sultry, with a quiet magnetism. Cool track.

Night Full Of Sirens dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long slow grode low-E guitar notes meander through dangerous neighborhood late at night . Pretty in a don't go there kinda way.

Herculanium dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Herculanium" is quite poundy, but weak in the melody department. Sax squonk and surf rhythm guitar. Lots of energy and a bridge borrowed from "Casbah."

Rope Of Sand dotdotdot
Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Sultry lounge thinking and surf 'n' soul groovin' dominate this more or less riff rocker. Soft and slurried with the shimmer of shallow vibrato, "Rope Of Sand" portrays a vision of distant exotic danger.

Choctaw dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Choctaw" has a cool aura about it. It's written like many a basic vintage surf tune, and played pretty straight. The organ adds a sense of lounge, and the weak mix leaves the guitar too low, and the bass and kick drum too upfront, which saps the energy of the performance. Coulda been 4 or 5 stars.

Jet Action Brunette dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thumpy riff rockin' and groovin' with whammy, "Another Day, Another Man" is an infectious and rhythmic track with a lounge feel to the melody, though the guitar is intense.

Cozy Corner dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sleazy Vegas grind with a minimal riff rock style. "Cozy Corner" is loud and spunky, but more frat like than melodic.

The Scratch dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rippin' raw soul horns and guitar riffs, with really rockin' drums! While "The Scratch" is repetitious, it sure does rock!

Makin It dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow Vegas crawl, bluesy and loud, with horn angst and spooky bass. This sort of thing usually doesn't do much for me, but "Makin It" is one tuff cookie!

Amarillo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big wash of track reverb adds to the surfable sound of this cool instro. An excellent melody and pumping bass line drive "Amarillo" home. Great surf whammy and chords, and a bit of a Mexican feel. Excellent!