Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Vis Iskre - Singlovidotdotdot
artworkThis is an interesting release from a once-popular band in Yugoslavia. It's more rare than great, but I always enjoy hearing what was going on in the locked-down countries behind the veil of the cold war and communist control.
Picks: Stalaktit, Sheba, Rock Za Dobro Jutro, Zvoncici, Tequila, Jahanje Na Vetru, Zuta Jakna, Bossa-Nova, Ukraina, Nebeski Jahaci, Telstar, Sheba

Track by Track Review

Stalaktit dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Stalaktit" opens with drums and a big reverbed guitar note before the organ takes over. It's an interesting blend of surf, Tornadoes organ, and thin guitar. Obviously played fairly quietly, the song still has a strange attractiveness. A cool rhythm and interesting melody complete the composition.

Sheba dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Sheba" is very cool in this restrained rendition. Interesting rhythm guitar, swirly mall organ, and light weight guitar deliver a more delicate sound than the original. Quite cool!

Rock Za Dobro Jutro dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

What a cheesy version of Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Reveille Rock!" It's what you'd expect at the mall from that Wurlitzer salesman with the white belt, but with drums and bass. Very interesting, even if it is tongue-in-cheek.

Zvoncici dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is an interesting translation of "Jingle Bells" into something that's part Ventures and part cheese vendor. Totally grin inducing.

Tequila dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a totally unusual cover of Chuck Rio's signature tune. The drums are reminiscent of Dave Myers' intro to "Wildwood Flower," while the organ calls on The Tornados' "Jungle Fever." This is thoroughly cool, somewhat hypnotic, and very adventurous for the time and place.

Jahanje Na Vetru dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is one fascinating reinvention of The Tornados' "Ridin' The Wind," with a much lighter sound, more rhythmic drums, and cleaner guitars bordering on surf. The galloping rhythm and guitars converge to create a captivating arrangement.

Zuta Jakna dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fairly straight forward cover of The Ventures' "Yellow Jacket." While it has Vis Iskre's signature sound, it's also not really too far from the source.

Bossa-Nova dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Bossa-Nova" is a playfully light instro with a very warm melody. I'm not sure of the original title because there are so many songs called bossa nova. Pretty fun in a sort of "Brazil" fashion. It ends with deluxe surf whammy.

Ukraina dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Light double picked guitar transitions, cheesy organ, and light bass and drums. "Ukraina" is an easy listen with a blend of influences. The galloping horse rhythm in the break while the organ goes bonkers is very interesting. Tasteful.

Nebeski Jahaci dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a wholly original cover of Stan Jones' classic "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky." Infectious rhythm guitar, distant organ, and cool guitar with occasional surf chokes and a touch of reverb, along with surf whammy, all make for a splendid adventure in original sound.

Telstar dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A heavily echoed countdown introduces this distorted recording at the The Tornados' "Telstar." The sound may have been an attempt at the Joe Meek sound, because it's heavily compressed and very thick. The pace and energy are restrained. While quite interesting, it's not particularly listenable.

Sheba dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fascinating cover of Paul Kelly and Tom King's wonderful "Sheba" (Johnny and the Hurricanes). For the most part, the organ replaces Dave Yorko's guitar, which gives it a sort of Tornados sound. Pretty darn interesting.