Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Insect Surfers - Wavelengthdotdotdotdot
artworkThis early Insect Surfers album is priceless. It is very unlike the Insects of today, but is nonetheless a great record. This was recorded a long time ago when the Insect Surfers were located in the nation's capital. Their sound then was an interesting blend of UK new wave, American pop, and surf ethics. A mighty fine album. The lone instro is great, and there are several vocal numbers that have been on my faves list for 15 years. One day soon, given enough intelligence, some label will issue this LP and the Sonar Safari album as a twofer CD.
Picks: I'm In Gear, Snow Falls, Dorsal Fin, Up Periscope, Fascination With The Neon, VOA (Voice Of America), Feeling The Heat, Ex Lion Tamer

Track by Track Review


I'm In Gear dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This driving song has plenty of pop sensibility, and an infectious hook line that doubles as it's title. A fine eighties pop recording. A chunky damped guitar edges its way in parallel with an interesting range of keyboard sounds. The vocal lines are pure pop.

Snow Falls dotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This track sports an eighties Euro keyboard sound under a chunky American guitar pop sensibility, with fun lyrics about flaky white stuff and its affect on tiny lives. Interesting visuals are conjured from the lyrics.

Dorsal Fin dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Instrumental)

This fine instrumental merely hints at the future surf magic of Dave Arnson. It is a wonderful track, but is quite different than the current Insect fare. It is a marvelous example of early eighties pop gone surf-inspired instro. The keyboard is cool, and the writing is great. I've often asked Dave to add this back to his set, but to no avail. Demand it, it's a great song.

Up Periscope dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This marvelous song is very well developed, with great production effects, cool sounds, and great drama. The tweaky keys and the relentless thump are somehow infectious. The endlessly repeated delay adds a sense of depth and danger. "Up Periscope, I'm Cool Calm and Collected..." what else needs to be said? "So Long, Little Tadpole!"

Fascination With The Neon dotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This near-drone foretells of the lost generation's focus on the meaningless for the pure joy of the experience... or, if you want to be more ethereal, it could be a peon to the Neon Spores... maybe... maybe not.

VOA (Voice Of America) dotdotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This song has a profound sadness that coexists with an optimistic lilt to it. The combination provides a disturbing view of tomorrow. The almost Morse code walking keyboard line is wonderful. I've been drawn to this song for 15 years, and it still sounds fresh and enticing today. Its relentless bass line, chunky rhythm, and haunting vocals create a very visual and thick ambiance.

Feeling The Heat dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

Monk chant vocals evolve instantly into haunting delayed calls for caution at the recognition of the tension life holds. A tasty pop song.

Ex Lion Tamer dotdotdotdot
Eighties Pop (Vocal)

This is a Wire' tune, and it conveys the profound effect that band had on this one. Think of it as a prayer at the alter...