Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Insect Surfers - Mojave Reefdotdotdotdotdot
artworkIt's about time! Six years in the making, and well worth the wait. The Insect Surfers' new CD is just about as sophisticated as it gets without losing the surf and rock and roll edge. This is a glorious album of incredible writing and playing. Maximum recommendation here!
Picks: Silver Coast, Reptile Boots, Horizon Riders, Coolangatta, Tethys, Dewey's Dead, Batwave, Flamin' Eddie's Dragstrip, Ocotillo, Asteroid, Black Sea, Electric Marlin, Nomad, Ursa Minor, Starfish Ranch / Mojave, Baja

Track by Track Review


Silver Coast dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the sea and beautiful guitarscapes, "Silver Coast" rides on a circulating melody line atop a great rhythm. This fine track is is a fine example of the swirling perfection that the Insect Surfers are capable of. Gorgeous ringing tone and throbbing essence of surf, with long howling feedback and grumbling bass slowly releasing the track as it fades under the waves.

Reptile Boots dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lizard skinned rhythms and pumpin' drums bump under a modern semi-psychedelic melodic melody line. The contrast between the foreground backtrack and distant lead creates a haunting sound. Quite nice!

Horizon Riders dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best new songs from the Insect Surfers. It's an infectious spaghetti western with very visual psychedelic swirls. The rolling cowboy beat and Morricone-ish melody are a splendid Southwest epic! The many textural changes add a sense of evolving story lines. Great!

Coolangatta dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a chunkier version of Rake and the Surftones with Link Wray close by, "Coolangatta" pulses with power and a great rhythm, plus some spectacular guitar tone and sustain. This is one fine track!

Tethys dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tethys" captures your ears right from the start. The alternating melody line is captivating and intricate. Each guitar brings its own brand of delivery to the song, with many fine changes in texture and tone. "Tethys" is a magnificent track.

Dewey's Dead dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the verge of dirge inversion, "Dewey's Dead" grumbles about the loss in a never ending tubular ride way, with thunder in the tom toms and a relentless adventure in the rhythm.

Batwave dotdotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

The Insect Surfers' "Batwave" is dissonant and angular, with intense tortured ambiance and plenty of attack. It's dark and dangerous, and haunting too. The howling adds to the fright factor. Excellent!

Flamin' Eddie's Dragstrip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The dragsters rev up, the announcer calls the race, and then the guitars kick in. This long time Insect Surfers finally makes it to disc, and way past due I say! Great grodie fuzz and liquid guitar, an utterly infectious melody, "Church Key" whammy dips... what more do you need? Edgy hotrod cool!

Ocotillo dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The warm melody of "Ocotillo" flows like a ride down the Baja coast in search of a perfect summer break. Completely cool, with a Spanish edge and pumping bass line. Fine track!

Asteroid dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Space echo guitar, backwards coolness, mind-game escapes... and that's just the intro. In an odd way, this reminds me of the introduction to Shuggie Otis' "Freedom Flight." It's more a soundscape than a song, but is quite satisfying.

Black Sea dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an amazing new song! It rides on an undulating rhythm, born of western skies and summer adventure. Compelling and exquisitely arranged, "Black Sea" demands your attention. Vibrato drama, silky fluid lines, psychedelic effects, and a call to the open highway. Magnificent! No, it's Perfect!

Electric Marlin dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Electric Marlin" heads down the coast to glassy walls unknown. This track is rhythm dominated and full of adventure, fast and delicate, and like the call of the wild. Excellent!

Nomad dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another stellar Insect tune loaded with energy and twin lead style, "Nomad" has been in the Insect Surfers set for quite a while. Heavier than in the early days, yet sparkling in a modern way. Fine song.

Ursa Minor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a scene from a distant space station, "Ursa Minor" is moody and mystical, with a solid air of cold vacuum adventure. It's a soundscape that often opens "Polaris" these days. It stands alone well on it's own.

Starfish Ranch / Mojave dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The upbeat adventure of "Starfish Ranch" is always more than friendly and attractive. This infectious and circular melody line always brings a grin to my mug. The whammy action and writhing guitaristry are very powerful. "Mojave" is transitioned into. It is made of the rumble of the decay, with haunting feedback whale calls and moody fine drums. Quite a soundscape!

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's classic "Baja" is very nicely rearranged by the Insect Surfers. The sea breaks gently on the shore, the guitar rings out, and a softened delivery adds a sense of beauty and calm. Excellent counterbalances between the two guitars makes this one of the best versions around!