Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Insanitizers - Whimsical Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a highly inventive set of songs. Those whacky Insanitizers take you places that don't want to go, but when you arrive, your grin takes over and you find the door locked behind you. Not your average surfband... barely surf, but if you like those mid sixties British instros, modern edgy tone, and aren't afraid of the looks you get from your friends when it's on the car stereo, this will likely brighten your day. All fuss, no muss, or as they say in Texas, all hat, no cattle! Too much fun!
Picks: Dance Like A Robot, Sugarplum, Froggys Magic Twanger, Polkzart, Surfin' The Stars, Puppetor, Head-Spin, Undertow, Lost In 3rd Dimension, Beerocracy, Fowl Ball, Fantwango, Masked Man

Track by Track Review


Dance Like A Robot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An interesting and engaging melody with a "Bumble Bee" sort of cycling pattern and delivery. The melody and arrangement of "Dance Like A Robot" suggest title subject, though this robot can sway!

Sugarplum dotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

I don't know what to say here. "Sugarplum" is an almost normal song, with references to Tchaikovsky's "Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairies." It's raucous, annoying, and thoroughly delightful. The thickness of the sound is at odds with the dreamy source music. Remixed from the Dark Surf album.

Waterboard Surfing dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Waterboard Surfing" is fast and furious, with murky layered reverb. More chord progressions and drama than melody. It's loud and angry, but not memorable at all.

Mountain King dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Edvard Grieg's "Hall Of The Mountain King" is done with an indistinct mix, rock tone, and an orchestral sound. Many better arrangements and recordings of this are out there.

Froggys Magic Twanger dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of string bending and a whimsical melody line. "Froggys Magic Twanger" is fun without being silly, and quite twangy. Duane Eddy-isms, and a demented bent-string meander.

Polkzart dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Mozart polka... OK, so it shouldn't work, but it really does. The wonderful backtrack fits the melody really well. Grins, art, and surf merge in "Polkzart" to great effect. Infectious and pretty, and really good sounding. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart certainly did not have this in mind when he wrote "Symphony No. 40 in G minor!" Superb!

Last Laugh dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cycling fun riff is at the center of "Last Laugh." Once the lead guitar comes along in the break, it seems to make more sense. It's not the melody, it's the wash of sound that the guitars are lost in that take away from the melody. Potential held back by production.

Hot Sauce dotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

This large and unhappy number lumbers while avoiding anything that could be confused with socially acceptable behavior. It's a bit jammy, but doesn't descend into the disinterest that usually generates. Remixed from the Dark Surf album is a soup of delay.

Surfin' The Stars dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy and tortured, "Surfin' The Stars" reminds me of a very garagy Get Wet. Heavy, swirled distortion, intense playing, and a relentless caught in the soup feeling. This is definitely short board surf. Remixed from the Dark Surf album.

Puppetor dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

You can imagine a throat singer calling to "Puppetor." The music is "The Worms Go In, The Worms Go Out," and every worm you every knew is lumbering toward you. It makes Alfred Hitchcock squirm. This song evolved from a folk ballad called "Alonzo The Brave, and Fair Imogine." Remixed from the Dark Surf album.

Head-Spin dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

If "What Ever Happened To Eddy" was less flippant and flighty, it might have been like this. There are glissandos and intense guitar lines. It grows on you despite your best effort.

"Head-Spin" is the same song as on The Dark Surf Collection, but it's completely reborn! This is much grittier and crisp, and louder, and more intense.

Undertow dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Surf whammy chords, slight references to "Pipeline," and intensely twisted guitar effects. This is a giant among strange surf epics, with demented tone and just plain uncomfortable noise. naturally, i love it! Remixed from the Dark Surf album.

Lost In 3rd Dimension dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big whammy with a cowboy feel on an open range near the surf. "Lost In 3rd Dimension" is an engaging track with a grinning riff and rich twang. It gallops along in it's tall hat.

Beerocracy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Whammy drama, rich desert stomp sound with lager head tendencies. Just demented enough to carry smell the hops, and meandering intoxicated in the hedge rows. You have to be in the mod, but then again, a tall cool one will get you there! Great title!

Fowl Ball dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray style chicken pickin' and glissandos and a barnyard in turmoil. "Fowl Ball" is loud like Link liked to play, and very intense. Remixed from the Dark Surf album.

Fantwango dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Fantwango" is a very interesting song. Its two guitars are doing very different things - like going to different schools together. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but does. Heavy and rhythmic, pulsing with grit and panache.

Masked Man dotdotdotdot
Metal Garage Surf (Instrumental)

Rossini's "William Tell Overture" is all grodied out with big distortion and weird stereo guitar. Big thunder and energy like The Lone Ranger only wished for. Wow! Remixed from the Dark Surf album.